As a former Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice, Jennifer Novak now serves as a “Rosetta Stone” in her private practice translating complicated environmental rules to businesses and individuals in environmental disputes. Jennifer tells us her secrets how to convey complicated issues as a subject-matter specialist to generalists on the bench.
Then we discuss the March 2023 SCOTUS opinion Sackett v. EPA, which sided with a landowner against the EPA. The EPA’s jurisdiction in keeping our waters clean extends to the “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS. Can wetlands and unconnected waters be WOTUS? Under the EPA’s “significant nexus test,” the answer was yes. But the Court reversed and replaced the test with a “continuous surface connection” test.
Jennifer explains how the new test may still open the floodgates to more water litigation.
(Neither Jennifer nor Jeff laughed at that pun.)