American Farm Bureau Federation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Case Date: 6/20/2014
- Project Name: Environmental Law Project
On July 6, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that will undoubtedly enlarge the scope of EPA regulatory power under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief in the case on behalf of a bipartisan group of 39 members of Congress in support of the American Farm Bureau Federation on appeal. The case centers on the proper scope of EPA’s authority under the CWA to establish a “total maximum daily load” (TMDL) for pollution. In its brief, WLF argued that nothing in the CWA grants sweeping authority to EPA to “micromanage” implementation of a TMDL. The appeals court disagreed, holding that the “total” for a TMDL can mean “a sum of parts,” which interpretation gives greater guidance to states in cleaning their waters, provides greater transparency to the public who may comment on a TMDL, and furthers the CWA’s requirement that the TMDL account for both point and nonpoint sources.
More Information and Downloads:
6/20/2014: Download the Brief