Several court cases have thrown into question what
waters are covered under the Clean Water Act. The
court cases focused specifically on dredge and fill
activities in wetlands. While Supreme Court Justice
Scalia, in his opinion, tried to differentiate
between dredge and fill activities and other water
quality programs, the same definition of waters is
used for issuing National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System permits and other CWA programs
such as storm water.
Supreme Court opinion was also split, so there is no
majority opinion around the same rationale, leaving
it uncertain as to how to define and identify the
waters that are covered. Several bills have been
introduced in Congress to bring things back to the
way they were prior to the Supreme Court decision."
There is uncertainty, however, with the bills'
language. One item of uncertainty is whether ground
water would be covered under the proposed
legislation, making it subject to federal
regulation. Questions have been posed as to the
bills' impacts on water rights or well-permitting
programs. NGWA is researching the issue further,
contacting other organizations, and, through NGWA's
Washington representatives, the bills' sponsors.
Source: NGWA Well Log, Sept 2007
Each week, the U.S. Department of Energy releases
average gasoline and diesel prices for the United
States. For the week of September 4 to September 10,
gas prices fell across the board compared to last
month with the exception of the Midwest and the
East Coast. On-highway diesel prices went up again
this month, for the most part. The Rocky Mountain
and West Coast regions, which were both more than
$3.00 a gallon last month, saw some relief.