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 |November 10th, 2017|Categories: Aquanews|

BWJ Water Lawyers Assist N-CORPE

On April 7, 2017, the Nebraska Supreme Court issued its decision in Estermann v. Bose et al., 296 Neb. 228, ___N.W.2d___(2017). The case centered around the construction and operation of the N-CORPE Project and was brought by a landowner, J. Daniel Estermann. The N-CORPE Project was created by the Upper Republican Natural Resources District, Middle Republican Natural Resources District, Lower Republican Natural Resources District, and the Twin Platte Natural Resources District, all political subdivisions of the state of Nebraska charged with managing ground water for a variety of purposes. Those four natural resources districts formed N-CORPE as a separate body [...]

By |November 9th, 2017|Categories: Aquanews|

Changes to the EPA and the Clean Water Act

Following the inauguration of President Trump, a flurry of orders have made their way across the oval office desk. Thus far Trump’s executive actions have ranged from imposing a hiring freeze on federal employees, moving to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and effecting a 90-day immigrant travel ban. In addition to these undertakings, on January 24, President Trump signed an executive order relating to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), leaving many wondering what implications these orders will have for both the agency itself and the agency’s regulations, particularity the Clean Water Act (CWA). The EPA and The CWA: As of [...]

By |November 8th, 2017|Categories: Aquanews|

Thurston County Court Dismisses Drainage Suit for Lack of Proof

The Thurston County District Court has dismissed upstream landowners’ suit against a downstream landowner and Thurston County. Plaintiffs sued the County and their downstream neighbor (represented by Blankenau Wilmoth Jarecke, LLP) for allegedly altering the natural drainage of the Old Logan Creek in Thurston County, Nebraska. Plaintiffs alleged the County engaged in an unconstitutional taking by flooding the upstream property when the County allegedly failed to properly size a culvert crossing downstream of Plaintiff’s land. Plaintiffs further alleged the downstream landowner unlawfully filled the natural drainage compounding the flooding upstream. As to injunctive claims against the County, the Court found [...]

By |November 7th, 2017|Categories: Aquanews|

BWJ Water Lawyers Assist Natural Resources Districts with Niobrara River

After months of negotiations, three Nebraska political subdivisions announce they had reached agreement on the transfer of the controlling water rights to the Niobrara River in northern Nebraska. The Niobrara River drains over 11,000 square miles in portions of Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota. The main stem of the Niobrara runs for nearly 400 miles along Nebraska’s norther boundary. The central portion of the river includes a 76-mile stretch that was designated by Congress as “Wild & Scenic” in 1991. In recent years, the river has been the epicenter of a dispute that involved hydropower, environmental and recreational interests, agricultural, [...]

By |November 7th, 2017|Categories: Aquanews|

EPA and Corps Publish New Rules for Waters of the United States

While it has been years in the making, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today published the final rule clarifying the agencies’ interpretation of the term “Waters of the United States” and the overall jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act. The rule is effective on August 28, 2015. According to the agencies their “interpretation is based not only on legal precedent and the best available peer-reviewed science, but also on the agencies' technical expertise and extensive experience in implementing the CWA over the past four decades.” The rule, moreover, “does not affect any [...]

By |November 7th, 2017|Categories: Aquanews|