Supreme Court lifts suspension of Trump-Era Clean Water Act Section 401 certification rule – Environment


United States: Supreme Court lifts suspension of Trump-Era Clean Water Act Section 401 certification rule

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Wednesday, April 6, the Supreme Court of the United States stayed an order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California quashing and returning a rule 2020 of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limiting the ability of states and tribes to block infrastructure projects that drain into U.S. waters under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Section 401 allows states and tribes to grant, deny, or waive project certification subject to certain time restrictions. The district court vacatur applied nationwide, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a request by industry groups and certain states to stay the order pending appeal in February.

With the suspension of the Supreme Court, the vacatur is lifted pending a new appeal on the merits. However, in parallel, the EPA is developing a revised rule implementing Section 401. In her dissent, Judge Elena Kagan said the petitioners failed to show how they would be irreparably harmed by the district court’s vacancy. because they had not identified a single project by the state or tribe blocked under Section 401.

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