Is Chief Justice Roberts anti-environment?

To honor Chief Justice Robert’s first decade on the Supreme Court — more like castigate him — the Constitutional Accountability Center has released a series of papers on the court’s jurisprudence. The most recent of which addresses the court’s environmental … Continue reading

Judge again refuses to toss Duarte Nursery’s due process claims in PLF suit

In Duarte v. Corps of Engineers, the trial court has, for the second time, denied a motion by the federal government to dismiss Duarte Nursery’s claims for violation of the Due Process Clause against the Army Corps of Engineers. Over … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — March 5, 2015

Environment — Victory for common sense in permitting reviews The California Supreme Court issued this opinion in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, a case dealing with environmental reviews under the California Environmental … Continue reading

Commerce Clause articles available

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

You’re in the Army now: don’t follow the rules

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.

The Waters of the United States rule: not about water

Last week our colleague Brian Miller posted about PLF’s testimony to a lengthy congressional hearing on a proposed regulation to expand the reach of the Army Corps of Engineers and US Environmental Protection Agency over wetlands and other “waters of the … Continue reading

Congressmen at joint hearing express concern about “waters of the US” rule

As previewed here a few days ago, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee conducted a joint congressional hearing yesterday to consider a proposed “waters of the United States” regulation by the federal … Continue reading

Joint congressional hearing on “waters of the United States” rule seeks PLF input

On Wednesday, February 4, a rare joint hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee will examine a controversial draft rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps … Continue reading