Agricultural Discharges Under the CWA: Old Questions and New Insights

52 U. Pac. L. Rev. 567 (2021)

33 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021 Last revised: 30 Jan 2023

See all articles by Anthony B. Schutz

Anthony B. Schutz

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law

Date Written: April 16, 2021

Abstract

Maui County v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund provides new insights to the old question of how agricultural pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations satisfies the Clean Water Act's prohibition on discharges of pollutants. In so doing, the case provides an important scoping rule for Clean Water Act applications that may clear up the misinterpretation of the term "agricultural stormwater discharges" and the uncertainty attending the concept of non-point sources of pollution. Its use of a functional equivalence standard to define discharges provides an important standard governing the link between the origin of pollutants and their presence in navigable waters. This new standard is a potentially transformative addition to regulatory and judicial interpretations of the Clean Water Act. It may enhance the Clean Water Act's effectiveness in controlling agricultural pollution, a subject desperately in need of attention.

Keywords: agriculture, pollution, environmental law, clean water act, water, water quality

Suggested Citation

Schutz, Anthony B., Agricultural Discharges Under the CWA: Old Questions and New Insights (April 16, 2021). 52 U. Pac. L. Rev. 567 (2021), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3828255 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3828255

Anthony B. Schutz (Contact Author)

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law ( email )

103 McCollum Hall
P.O. Box 830902
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
United States

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