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BTNL Partner Jim Noles Speaks At 31st Annual Southeastern Environmental Law And Regulation Conference

BTNL founding partner Jim Noles discussed the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency and its ramifications for ongoing permitting actions and projects at the 31st Annual Southeastern Environmental Law and Regulation Conference in Sandestin, Florida, on June 16, 2023. For his talk, Noles joined with Blake Smith, of Spectrum Environmental, in a general discussion of regulatory developments associated with waters of the United States.

As Noles explained, as per the 9-0 Supreme Court opinion, wetlands are now only jurisdictional when they have a “continuous surface connection” with a water of the United States (i.e., a “relatively permanent body of water connected to traditional interstate navigable waters”). Noles further opined that Sackett will have significant ramifications beyond simply the Clean Water Act and wetlands protection because, often, the federal “hook” of a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit being required can be the only reason that other federal environmental laws, such as Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, are implicated in a particular private-sector project.

About Barze Taylor Noles Lowther LLC: Barze Taylor Noles Lowther LLC is a Birmingham, Alabama-based law firm with a national practice focused on litigation, insurance coverage issues, and environmental matters. For more information, visit or follow @BTNL_law_firm.

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