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United States: Ninth Circuit’s Fanciful Interpretation Of The Clean Water Act Ripe For Another Reversal?

By Peter C. Whitfield – Mondaq – September 18, 2013
Shortly after admonishing the Ninth Circuit for its strained interpretation of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), the Supreme Court may be asked to repeat itself. On January 8, 2013, in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resource Defense Council, 133 S. Ct. 710 (2013), the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s finding that the Los Angeles Flood Control District (“County”) was liable for a CWA permit violation for channeling stormwater containing pollutants from one portion of a navigable waterway to another portion of that same waterway. The Court remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit. On August 8, 2013, the Ninth Circuit retooled its holding and again found the County liable for CWA permit violations. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc. v. Cnty. of Los Angeles, 10-56017 (9th Cir. Aug. 8, 2013). This time, the Ninth Circuit focused on the specific language of the discharge permit rather than the jurisdictional operation of the CWA. The Circuit may need a third try to get it right. For full article, click here.

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