Wetlands — Major victory in the 8th Circuit The 8th Circuit handed us this major victory today in Hawkes v. United States. The decision is a wonder to read because the court “got it.” It understood that requiring a landowner to … Continue reading
The 8th Cir Court of Appeals gave Pacific Legal Foundation a resounding victory today in Hawkes v Corps. A unanimous three-judge panel held a Corps of Engineers’ Jurisdictional Determination (i.e. wetlands delineation) is immediately reviewable in court and subject to … Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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