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We are honored to introduce Ecology Law Quarterly’s 2015–2016 Annual Review of Environmental and Natural Resource Law. Now in its seventeenth year, the Annual Review is a collaborative endeavor. It is founded on Berkeley Law’s renowned environmental law program, which itself is built upon some of the leading scholars in the field.
Recklessly gambling with Kansas’s water rights to the Republican River, Nebraska used 17 percent more water than it was allocated by the interstate Republican River Compact during a drought in 2005–06. Kansas sued Nebraska for this breach of compact in the Supreme Court. While the Court ultimately found that Nebraska breached the Republican River Compact, the remedy was only damages for Kansas’s loss and partial disgorgement of Nebraska’s profits. By failing to require complete disgorgement of profits, the Court arguably failed to disincentivize future breaches of other interstate water compacts.
Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. United States Forest Service presents a troubling development for environmental plaintiffs seeking injunctive relief for procedural violations of the Endangered Species Act. The panel majority overturned a thirty-year-old presumption of irreparable harm, in a move that undermines the precautionary purpose of the Endangered Species Act.
This Note provides a broad overview of section 404 of the Clean Water Act and the implications of its implementation regarding what constitutes “waters of the United States.” This Note focuses on the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to clarify the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act through the Clean Water Rule. This Note then examines the Corps’s role in implementing section 404 of the Clean Water Act through the jurisdictional determination process.