Environmental -- 2018

Georgia v. McCarthy   (11th Circuit)

Which court has jurisdiction to decide Waters of the US challenges?

This is one of several cases filed in various courts challenging the EPA's new rule regarding the scope of its jurisdiction over land in the United States that is subject to permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act. The issue on appeal before the 11th Circuit is whether a federal appeals court has jurisdiction to hear challenges to the rule in the first instance.

The NAM and others in a coalition of organizations challenging the EPA rule argued that nothing in the Clean Water Act says that our challenge should go first to the appeals court. Rather, we argued that a federal district court is the proper forum for filing suit. Only a few exceptions are written into the Clean Air Act, and none of them applies in the challenge to the waters rule.

The court ruled on August 16, 2017, to stay the case pending the outcome of the Sixth Circuit's jurisdictional determination. On January 22, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that jurisdiction over the various WOTUS challenges belong in the district courts. The 11th Circuit thereafter remanded the case back to the district court.

Related Documents:
Motion to dismiss  (November 3, 2015)
NAM amicus brief  (September 21, 2015)


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