For Immediate Release: July 18, 2007
New Handbook Explains the Law and Science of Clean Water Act Coverage
(Washington, DC) — Last year’s Supreme Court ruling in Rapanos v. United States left regulators, activists, and landowners nationwide scrambling to understand the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction over wetlands and streams. Unless and until Congress amends the law to clarify its intended coverage of the “waters of the United States,” we are left to sort out the present law. There is now a comprehensive resource designed to shed light on the topic, the Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Handbook, just released by the Environmental Law Institute® (ELI).
The ELI Handbook lays out the various tests for Clean Water Act coverage under current law. Additionally, the Handbook brings science to bear on the question of determining CWA coverage for certain categories of wetlands and streams, in a way that no other publication to date has attempted. The Handbook is a necessary and informative complement to the joint guidance document issued last month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to guide their respective field staff in making jurisdictional determinations in the wake of the Rapanos decision.
With the support of the Turner Foundation, and the assistance of numerous experts in wetlands science and law, ELI has analyzed the key case law, compiled the relevant scientific studies and literature, and provided a set of jurisdictional “checklists” to assist the legal layperson in determining whether a particular wetland or stream is covered. The Handbook is a must for anyone faced with understanding what information is needed to assess CWA jurisdiction.
For a free download of the Handbook, visit www.eli.org.
The Environmental Law Institute® is an independent, non-profit
research and educational organization based in Washington, DC. The Institute
serves the environmental profession in business, government, the private bar,
public interest organizations, academia, and the press. For further information
from the Environmental Law Institute, please contact Brett Kitchen at 202-939-3833