Muddy Waters: How Expansion of Federal Water Jurisdiction Under County of Maui v. Hawai'i Wildlife Fund Will Impact Nebraska Agribusiness
No Thumbnail Available
INTRODUCTION|This Note will begin by explaining the facts and holding of County of Maui. This Note will then provide background on the interpretation and application of the CWA, both nationwide and in Nebraska. This Note will further describe the hydrological makeup of Nebraska and its regulation of groundwater and surface water. This Note will indicate that, as the largest user of water in the state, the Nebraska agriculture industry is vulnerable to lawsuits as a result of the County of Maui decision. Then, this Note will argue that, due to Nebraska’s careful regulation of groundwater, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy is unlikely to enforce additional NPDES permits now possibly required under County of Maui. This Note will then argue that, if citizens or citizen groups bring enforcement actions against farmers or ranchers in Nebraska, district courts should use the discretion granted to them by the County of Maui Court and not require NPDES permits where water quality is not impaired. However, this Note will concede that where water quality is endangered, NPDES permits should be required where they will improve water quality. This Note will conclude by asking Congress to take action to clear up ambiguous Supreme Court decisions by amending the CWA to reflect current understandings of groundwater and surface water integration.
Creighton University School of Law