The Trump Administration New Definition for WOTUS

In the latest chapter of a decades-long fight, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on April 15 ended its period for comment on a much-anticipated new rule to define “waters of the United States”—or WOTUS, as the controversial phrase has become known. Congress first used the phrase in 1972, when it signed much of the Clean Water Act (CWA) into law. The CWA prohibited the discharge of any pollutant into “waters of the United States” without a permit issued by the EPA or Army Corps. Congress used WOTUS to define the scope of federal water-quality regulation, but it did not define [...]

By |May 14th, 2019|Categories: Aquanews|

The Mississippi v Tennessee Groundwater Dispute Goes to Hearing

Is the Sparta-Memphis Aquifer an interstate resource? That will be the question before Special Master Eugene Siler, Jr. when he hears arguments from attorneys representing Mississippi and Tennessee in the Supreme Court’s first interstate groundwater dispute. The hearing follows more than a decade of litigation over the groundwater contained in the Sparta-Memphis Aquifer, which underlies Mississippi and Tennessee. The City of Memphis, just north of the two states’ border, has long depended on the aquifer as its sole source of municipal water. To supply over 250,000 residents, Memphis withdraws 187 million gallons from the aquifer daily, which Mississippi claims has [...]

By |May 14th, 2019|Categories: Aquanews|

The Breach of Spencer Dam and Its Water Rights

At about five o’clock in the morning on March 14, a wall of water eleven-feet high breached Spencer Dam, crumbling the dam’s structure and washing its water rights down the Niobrara River. For almost 90 years, Spencer Dam sat just 37 miles upstream from the Niobrara River’s confluence with the Missouri River. Built in 1927, the run-of-the-river dam regulated the Niobrara’s flow and generated hydroelectricity for its owner, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). During its lifetime, Spencer Dam’s operation also spawned a significant legal battle. As the owner of some of the Niobrara’s most senior water rights, NPPD issued [...]

By |May 14th, 2019|Categories: Aquanews|

Update: Retail Electric Rates in Deregulated States

The American Public Power Association authored a recent report regarding titled retail electric prices comparing rates in states with deregulated electric markets versus those in regulated states. The ultimate conclusions found the rates averaged the same between 1997 and 2017, with customers in regulated states experiencing only slightly higher percentage increases in rates. The report found, “Though not perfectly correlated, rate trends in deregulated states have generally tracked with shifts in the natural gas spot price. All rates have remained relatively steady since 2014, though there was an increase across all categories from 2016 to 2017.” Additionally, the report notes [...]

By |May 23rd, 2018|Categories: Aquanews|

Colorado to Pay Nebraska $4M in Republican River Settlement

The following article was produced by GRANT SCHULTE, Associated Press and is copied in full herein. The State of Nebraska was represented by Blankenau Wilmoth Jarecke LLP. LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Colorado officials have agreed to pay Nebraska $4 million to settle old claims that their state violated a water-sharing compact involving the Republican River, according to a settlement released Thursday. The settlement requires Colorado to make the payment by Dec. 31, 2018, even though state officials did not admit to any violations of the Republican River Compact. Colorado legislators must approve the funding before the deadline, or the settlement will [...]

By |February 23rd, 2018|Categories: Aquanews|

Agencies Move to Rescind Obama’s WOTUS Rule

On June 27, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers proposed to rescind current Clean Water Act rules and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 defining "waters of the United States" (WOTUS). This action is designed to be temporary, pending a second rulemaking in which the agencies will engage in a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of "waters of the United States.” "We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses," said Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This is the first step in the [...]

By |January 7th, 2018|Categories: Aquanews|