Clean Water Act: Law and Regulation (ELI/ALI CLE Advanced Course of Study)

November 17, 2014 11:27 am — November 18, 2014 11:27 am
Washington, DC

Co-sponsored by ALI CLE

Much has been achieved in protecting the nation’s waterways and wetlands since the Clean Water Act (CWA) was passed in 1972. However, as federal and state agencies seek to tackle the most intractable water quality problems, the greatest challenges remain. This in-depth course covered not only recent programmatic, litigation, and regulatory developments, but also the larger, emerging issues that will strongly influence water law and practice in the years to come.

This advanced-level program was more than an update on current developments; it brought together cutting-edge issues in water law and examined them in an integrated fashion. A top-flight faculty – including senior public officials from federal and state/local regulators and enforcement agencies, private practitioners, scientists, academics, and public interest advocates – provided in-depth legal analyses, key policy perspectives, and insights on the future of this sacred resource.

Highlights included an optional introductory lecture, which provided less experienced practitioners, or those needing a refresher, with grounding in the basic substantive law and practice issues, as well as a keynote address from Nancy Stoner, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Water.

Panels chosen to provide a variety of viewpoints explored:

  • final and proposed rulemaking from the EPA, including the definition of Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS); water quality standards; and the CWA section 316(b) rule on cooling water intakes
  • litigation developments and their implications on water, such as Iowa League of Cities v. EPA, Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Inc. v. EPA, and Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. EPA
  • the interplay between the CWA and other laws, including the Endangered Species Act
  • initiatives to create collaboration amongst states, federal agencies, tribes, stakeholders, and the public
  • authorization of states to implement EPA stormwater permitting
  • EPA’s veto powers under CWA section 404(c) and the Pebble Mine case
  • measuring and implementing effective use of water quality trading and wetlands mitigation banking

The course also included a full hour on professional responsibility issues and ethics concerns in the water law practice context.

With an intimate learning environment and plenty of opportunities to network and interact with like-minded professionals, participants came away connected, informed, and ready to tackle legal challenges.

Please note that a video archive of the conference, including all materials, is available on demand at ALI CLE's event site HERE.