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: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

Related Stories

Drought alters familiar landscape in Yosemite National Park

Mar 31, 2015

Yosemite National Park is bracing for its driest year on record, with visitor bureaus downplaying the allure of the park's most famous waterfall and instead touting the park as a destination for hiking, bicycling and photography.

Montana governor calls for deeper pipelines after oil spills

Feb 13, 2015

Montana's governor called on the Obama administration Friday to strengthen rules that require oil pipelines to be buried just 4 feet beneath major waterways, after two breaches that spilled a combined 93,000 gallons of crude ...

Scientists tackling Gulf of Mexico hypoxia

Feb 12, 2015

Bouncing along the edge of a field, Larry Berry points across the pasture toward a tree line marking the path of a creek bed. A small plastic shed sits atop a wooden platform on stilts.

Recommended for you

The riddle of galactic thin–thick disk solved

Apr 24, 2015

A long-standing puzzle regarding the nature of disk galaxies has finally been solved by a team of astronomers led by Ivan Minchev from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), using state-of-the-art ...

Giant cosmic tsunami wakes up comatose galaxies

Apr 24, 2015

Galaxies are often found in clusters, with many 'red and dead' neighbours that stopped forming stars in the distant past. Now an international team of astronomers, led by Andra Stroe of Leiden Observatory ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.