EPA's powers challenged in Supreme Court

Feb 21, 2006

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in what reportedly might become a landmark case involving federal environmental powers.

At issue is the extent of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act -- is it limited to lakes and rivers or does it also include remote wetlands, The Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.

In dispute is the relationship between the CWA, as Congress created it, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rules that are designed to enforce the law.

The CWA act specifically extends federal authority to all "navigable waters." The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers interpret that as meaning their authority under the CWA extends far upstream and even to waters with no hydrologic connection to a tributary of navigable waters, the Monitor said.

Opponents argue that interpretation would extend EPA powers to even a saturated residential lawn located near a storm drain. They say upstream properties should be governed by state regulations.

Proponents claim federal authority should extend far enough upstream to control water pollution.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers aim to get upstream on antibiotic resistance

Jan 10, 2014

The battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria has taken to the high seas as a team of University of Alberta researchers received funding from the federal government to look at alternatives for fighting ...

Scrutinising rivers upstream

Oct 17, 2013

Climate change influences water cycles. Particularly, it has an effect on the natural and socio-economic processes of river basins. Major rivers of the world have their origin in alpine-style mountains. The trouble is that ...

Power plant threat to Bosnia oasis

Oct 17, 2013

In the mountains of southern Bosnia, a narrow canal carved through dense vegetation leads to a vast lake of crystal blue.

Crews begin dismantling key California dam

Jun 21, 2013

For nine decades, the 10-story-high concrete dam with its rusted pipes, railings and valves has stood in the wooded canyons between the Big Sur hills and the picturesque town of Carmel, blocking the natural flows of the Carmel ...

Recommended for you

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

4 hours ago

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...

How many moons does Venus have?

11 hours ago

There are dozens upon dozens of moons in the Solar System, ranging from airless worlds like Earth's Moon to those with an atmosphere (most notably, Saturn's Titan). Jupiter and Saturn have many moons each, ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...

How many moons does Venus have?

There are dozens upon dozens of moons in the Solar System, ranging from airless worlds like Earth's Moon to those with an atmosphere (most notably, Saturn's Titan). Jupiter and Saturn have many moons each, ...