This Note considers the longstanding clash between the United States government and state governments over the management of intrastate waters through the lens of Maine v. McCarthy, an ongoing federal lawsuit. McCarthy confronts whether the United States Environmental Protection Agency can require state water quality standards to specifically safeguard the health and cultural practices of Maine’s Indian tribes, particularly sustenance fishing. A panoply of legal and political factors gave rise to and shaped the course of the litigation, ranging from tribal sovereignty to agency discretion and political gamesmanship. After evaluating the litigants’ arguments and examining previous regulatory collisions between the Environmental Protection Agency and state governments, this Note argues that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to dictate changes to Maine’s water quality standards, regardless of preexisting agreements granting Maine regulatory control over state waters.
Joseph P. Mortelliti,
Whose Standards Control? Maine v. McCanhy and the Federal, State, and Tribal Battle Over Water Quality Regulation,
Mich. J. Envtl. & Admin. L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjeal/vol6/iss2/5