Signaling at least the appearance of progress in a 55-year-old saga nearly as glacially paced as The Hobbit, the Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument on October 11 in the latest case to address the jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act. This phase of the case, National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, No. 16-299, will not resolve the uncertainty about what sorts of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS)—wet or not—are subject to the reach of the Act. That matters, of course, because placing fill in or discharging pollutants to a WOTUS typically requires a general or individual permit.
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