Monday, December 12, 2011

National Association of Home Builders v. U.S. EPA

Dec 9: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 10-5341. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The Appeals Court explains that, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and its member organizations, Southern Arizona Home Builders Association and Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, appeal the dismissal of their lawsuit challenging the determination (Determination) by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and U.S. EPA (collectively, Agencies) that two reaches of the Santa Cruz River in southern Arizona constitute "traditional navigable water[s]" (TNW) so as to come within the Agencies' regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA). NAHB challenges the TNW Determination as both procedurally and substantively defective.
    The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground the CWA precludes a preenforcement challenge to a TNW Determination. The Appeals Court ruled, "We affirm the dismissal on the alternative jurisdictional ground that the appellants lack standing under Article III of the United States Constitution." The Appeals Court cites previous cases and the requirements for standing saying, "The 'irreducible constitutional minimum of standing contains three elements': (1) injury-in-fact, (2) causation, and (3) redressability." The Appeals Court said, "We conclude that NAHB has not demonstrated an injury in fact traceable to the TNW Determination to establish standing -- either in its own right or on behalf of its members.
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Air, #CADC]

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