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In the 2006 plurality decision in Rapanos v. United States, the Supreme Court limited the scope of the Clean Water Act's protection of "navigable waters" to only include those bodies of water that are "permanent, standing or continuously flowing," and thus did not apply to channels through which water flows only some of the time. In the wake of the Rapanos decision, Rep. James Oberstar (MN) has sponsored the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007 that would "fix the Clean Water Act," according to the Congressman's website. This legislation would allow the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to enforce the Clean Water Act on wetlands, streams and ponds that are not part of a major "navigable" waterway.
This panel will be published by the University of Denver Law Review in the spring of 2008.