Chairman Waxman Issues Subpoena for EPA Wetlands Documents

21 08 2008

 

After EPA’s failure to respond to Chairman Henry A. Waxman’s previous demand for documents related to wetlands enforcement, he today issued a subpoena to compel EPA to provide unredacted copies of documents involving the agency. The subpoena compels production of documents related to a March 4, 2008 memo from EPA’s assistant administrator for enforcement, Granta Nakayama, that says RAPANOS v. UNITED STATES and CARABELL v. UNITED STATES  joint decision  by the U.S. Supreme Court [(Nos. 04-1034 and 04-1384) No. 04–1034, 376 F. 3d 629, and No. 04–1384, 391 F. 3d 704, vacated and remanded.] put in doubt which waters could be overseen and managed under the Clean Water Act.

According to Chairman Waxman, after the issuance of an EPA-Army Corps of Engineers guidance on incorporating the court ruling, EPA and the Army Corps abandoned their enforcement efforts.  Between July 2006 and December 2007, EPA decided not to pursue the enforcement of as many as 300 violations because of the jurisdictional uncertainty created by the Rapanos decision and the guidance, the memo says.

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