Case Summary Citation
___ F.3d ___, 2011 WL 4537801 (9th Cir. Oct. 3, 2011)
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that the government’s broad regulatory scope under the Safe Drinking Water Act did not exceed Congress’ authority under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. An Idaho farmer discharged wastewater into a well and was found guilty on criminal charges under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Ninth Circuit held that in order to bring criminal charges under the Act, the government has the burden to show that a defendant willfully injected a fluid into the ground without a permit, not that the injection actually damaged a source of groundwater.