Supreme Court allows review of federal wetland jurisdictional determinations before permitting

Earlier this summer, in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., 136 S.Ct. 1807 (2016), the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that an approved jurisdictional determination made by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act is a “final agency action” subject to immediate judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act. The case gives property owners a more timely chance to challenge federal wetland protection measures on... Read more →

Josh Cohen and Brad Slaughter, authors of A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan, will be hosting a public discussion at Wayne State on conservation and stewardship of Michigan’s rare coastal habitats. Josh is the Lead Ecologist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Michigan’s natural heritage program. He is a good friend and great field guide for his adopted state of Michigan and its rare and unique habitats and critters. He roams the woods... Read more →

Federal appeals court blocks the Clean Water Rule, dealing a major blow to the agencies’ attempt to clarify federal jurisdiction over waters and wetlands

The Clean Water Rule (also called the Waters of the United States, or WOTUS rule) was promulgated earlier this summer by the US EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to clarify federal jurisdiction over waters and wetlands in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2006 Rapanos decision. For a detailed background on the Clean Water/WOTUS Rule and the regulatory and litigation history behind it, please refer to this paper by Maureen O'Sullivan, Wayne Law ’16,... Read more →

Wetland Mitigation in Michigan: Working Toward the Goal of No Net Loss of Wetlands

The new issue of the Michigan Environmental Law Journal includes a superb essay by Wayne Law student Nathan Inks, “Wetland Mitigation in Michigan: Working Toward the Goal of No Net Loss of Wetlands.” Michigan has a unique federal-state law regime for wetland regulation, including a partial delegation of the CWA section 404 permitting program to the state. Nathan’s essay was selected for publication as the first place award winning entry in the annual student writing... Read more →

Wisconsin Supreme Court Limits Scope of Public Trust Doctrine

The following student post is by Kyle M. Peczynski (B.A., University of Michigan; J.D., Wayne State University Law School, expected 2014). While in law school, Kyle has worked at the US EPA and Wayne Law’s Transnational Environmental Law Clinic. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in July limited the scope of the state’s public trust doctrine when it rejected the state Department of Natural Resources’ reasoning used in support of a water level regulation for Lake Koshkonong.... Read more →

My new book, Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protections, has been published by Foundation Press and is available on Amazon. I was honored to work with two superb co-authors on this book - Robert Adler, Interim Dean and James I. Farr Chair in Law, and Robin Kundis Craig, William H. Leary Professor of Law, both at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public... Read more →