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Clean Water Act Still Murky: High Court Fails to Provide Clear Guidance on Wetlands

July 10, 2006

By Mitchell B. Menzer, Elisa L. Paster and Colin MacMillan

On June 19, 2006, the Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision in Rapanos et al. v. United States that many hoped would provide much needed guidance on the extent of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction over wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Instead, a deeply divided Court issued a splintered ruling that leaves lower courts to engage in case-by-case analysis based on scant guidance from the Supreme Court as to whether wetlands have a “significant nexus” with navigable waters.

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Image: Mitchell B Menzer
Mitchell B Menzer
Partner, Real Estate Department