Environmental -- 2016

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co.   (U.S. Supreme Court)

When courts may review CWA jurisdictional decisions

The NAM filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to support manufacturers’ rights to respond to jurisdictional decisions that impose additional costs and reduce the feasibility of constructing infrastructure. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), a manufacturer must obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before discharging any dredged or fill material into waters of the United States that are subject to federal regulatory jurisdiction; however, the Corps has broadly construed the CWA to prohibit any productive use, improvement, alteration or repair of property without first obtaining a permit. This case provided the opportunity for manufacturers to request judicial review of Army Corps or Environmental Protection Agency decisions that may exceed those agencies' jurisdiction. The NAM’s brief argued that the regulated community must be afforded an early opportunity to respond to overly aggressive jurisdictional determinations and requested that the court resolve uncertainty over the scope of the CWA. In a win for manufacturers, the Court agreed with the NAM.

Related Documents:
NAM brief  (March 1, 2016)