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National Association of Home Builders v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

2007 WL 259944 (2007)

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National Association of Home Builders v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

United States District Court for the District of Columbia

2007 WL 259944 (2007)

Facts

Under the Clean Water Act, discharge of a pollutant was prohibited without a permit. Discharge was defined in the Clean Water Act as the addition of a pollutant to navigable waters. Under § 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) (defendant) could issue permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material. The Corps’ definition of a discharge of dredged material as including any addition of material was struck down because it was too broad—it could have included incidental fallback that occurred when a large amount of material was removed. The Corps and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new rule stating that any earth-moving activity would be deemed to result in a discharge unless project-specific evidence demonstrated only incidental fallback. The rule defined incidental fallback as the redeposit of small amounts of material in substantially the same place. The National Association of Home Builders (plaintiff) challenged the regulation as outside the authority of the Corps and the EPA under the Clean Water Act and moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Robertson, J.)

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