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Environmental Enforcement Defense

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You don’t see a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court very often, especially in an environmental case, but that’s what happened this week when the Court held that for an area to be “critical habitat” of an endangered species, it first had to be habitat.
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I’ve been an environmental lawyer for thirty years. That’s how long the jurisdictional reach of the Federal Clean Water Act has been unsettled. Sometime in the next few months the newly more Conservative United States Supreme Court will decide whether to grant either of two petitions to review diametrically opposed Federal Appeals Court answers to the question of whether the Clean Water Act applies to discharges to groundwater, one very important facet of the three decade old question already considered by the Supreme Court three times.
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