Tomorrow morning is Ninth Circuit day at PLF. Immediately following Ted Hadzi-Antich’s oral argument in the Green Sturgeon critical habitat listing case, the same panel will hear another very important Endangered Species Act case. Bear Valley Mutual Water Co. v. … Continue reading
Incompetence or corruption. According to federal judge Royce Lamberth, only those two explanations remain for the EPA’s misconduct over a conservative group’s request for information under the Freedom of Information Act. … Continue reading
On Thursday, March 5, 2015, at 9 a.m., I’ll be arguing at the 9th Circuit in support of our challenge under the Endangered Species Act to the critical habitat designation for a marine species known as the green sturgeon. The critical … Continue reading
This morning the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, announcing that projects which are categorically exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act are exempt even if they might have negative … Continue reading
Overcriminalization and the fishy abuse of Sarbanes-Oxley The United States Supreme Court issued a good decision in Yates v. United States, in favor of fisherman John Yates. As described in our blog, because Yates threw some undersized fish overboard after an inspection, … Continue reading
Two of my articles were recently published in the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Law. The first is entitled “Bringing in The Sheaves: Home Grown Wheat, Weed, And Limits on The Commerce Clause.” This article involves a … Continue reading
The Miami Herald brings news today that the manatees of Florida continue the population surge that the federal Fish & Wildlife Service identified as far back as 2007. Outdoor writer Sue Cocking of the Herald reports: Manatee conservation is at … Continue reading
Victory for Fishing! The California Court of Appeal issued this favorable decision in California Association for Recreational Fishing v. Department of Fish and Wildlife. The genesis of this dispute arose in litigation brought by the Center for Biological Diversity against … Continue reading
PLF’s petition to the U.S.Supreme Court in Kent Recycling Services v. Corps (14-493) will be up for review as soon as February 18. Federal regulations allow the Corp of Engineers to issue a site-specific Jurisdictional Determination delineating “waters of the … Continue reading
Under the Clean Water Act, the United States Army Corps of Engineers regulates wetlands throughout the nation. Owners must obtain a permit from the Corps to develop, build upon, or otherwise alter their properties, if those properties contain “jurisdictional wetlands.” The Corps’ rules specifically exclude from the permitting requirement properties that are separated from other wetlands by man-made barriers, such as roads or dikes. The problem: in an effort to expand its authority, the Corps is ignoring the regulatory exclusion.
Representing a small Alaska company, Universal Welding, PLF filed a lawsuit last week against the Corps for requiring the company to obtain a permit to expand operations on its property, which is separated from a jurisdictional wetland by a county-owned public road. A clearer man-made barrier could not exist. Accordingly, Universal Welding’s property in Fairbanks, Alaska, qualifies for the regulatory exclusion.
But the Corps says it is not bound by its own rules and can require Universal Welding to obtain a permit. Does the Corps care that it is ignoring the rules? No. It has drafted lawyers from the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to defend against PLF’s lawsuit, which is intended to enforce the rule of law against a bloated government bureaucracy seeking to impose its will in every corner of the nation under the guise of enforcing the Clean Water Act. We will meet them in court. Our motion for summary judgment can be found here: MSJ – Universal Welding.