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Law360 Publishes Article by Bradley Ennis and Susan Scaggs on Groundwater Circuit Split that the Supreme Court will Untangle

Bradley Ennis, partner, and Susan Scaggs, attorney, in the firm’s Gulfport office and members of the Environmental & Natural Resources Practice authored an article for Law360, “The Groundwater Circuit Split High Court Will Untangle” published on August 14, 2019.

In the article, Bradley and Susan discuss a circuit split that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on in November related to arguments that citizen suit plaintiffs have been making regarding discharges that travel through groundwater and eventually end up in a water of the United States which fall within the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction. 

Bradley and Susan write that this debate has important implications for the regulated community. If the Supreme Court determines that discharges to groundwater that ultimately end up in a navigable water are jurisdictional, citizen suits to enforce regulation of those discharges under the Clean Water Act will likely become more common. 

The article includes that “if the Supreme Court determines that discharges to groundwater do not trigger federal jurisdiction, groundwater will continue to be regulated on a state-by-state basis. If that is the case, the regulated community should continue to stay up to date on any state-specific requirements it is subject to.”

Bradley focuses his practice on environmental and regulatory matters for utilities, governmental agencies, and private entities. His practice includes work under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Oil Pollution Act (OPA), the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and state wetland permitting regimes.  

Susan works on a variety of environmental matters for institutional, private, and agency clients. She focuses on water law issues, but has worked on matters including compliance and permitting under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.