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S.D. Warren Co. v. Maine Board of Environmental Protection

Docket No.: 04-1527
Certiorari Granted: 10/11/2005
Argued: February 21, 2006
Decided: May 15, 2006

Topics:

Economic Activity, Natural Resources

PartyNames: S. D. WARREN CO. v. MAINE BOARD OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION et al.
Petitioner: S.D. Warren Company
Respondent: Maine Board of Environmental Protection, et al.

Court Below: Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

S.D. Warren Company
v.
Maine Board of Environmental Protection, et al.
547 U.S. 370 (2006)
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO QUESTION 1 PRESENTED BY THE PETITION.

Question Presented:

1. Does the mere flow of water through an existing dam constitute a "discharge" under Section 401, 33 U.S.C. § 1341, of the Clean Water Act, despite this Court's holding last year in Miccosukee that a discharge requires the addition of water from a distinct body of water? 2. Does the State of Maine's expansive application of Section 401 conflict with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's comprehensive licensing authority over hydroelectric generating projects under the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 791a et seq.?

Question:

Do hydroelectric dams result in "discharge" under the meaning of Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act?

Holding: affirmed
Vote: 9-0
Opinion By:
Read S.D. WARREN CO. V. MAINE BOARD OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION opinion (PDF)
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