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Episode 14 – Whiplash: Navigating WOTUS and the Sackett Decision


The very definition of “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, under the Clean Water Act, has been the subject of extensive litigation and controversy for decades. Join Mary Ann Grena Manley, Founder and President of 15E Communications, and Rafe Petersen, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Holland & Knight, for an in-depth conversation as they explore the current WOTUS rule and its regulatory history. They also discuss the significance of the recent Supreme Court ruling in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, its impact on regulatory requirements, and implications for land development, pending transactions, and environmental due diligence.

About the Speaker:

Rafe Petersen Rafe Petersen, Partner, Holland & Knight
Rafe Petersen is a partner in Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the firm’s Government Section. He primarily focuses on litigation and counseling in administrative, environmental and the federal fair housing laws. Mr. Petersen’s environmental practice includes environmental compliance, enforcement, and litigation, with an emphasis on water and natural resource issues under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Mr. Petersen assists clients in complex permitting and regulatory issues related to energy development, commercial and residential projects, mining, and infrastructure. He is experienced in environmental litigation at both trial and appellate levels and defends clients in enforcement actions in administrative and federal courts. In addition, Mr. Petersen also assists clients in responding to rulemaking efforts by federal agencies and in litigating agency actions under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

About the Moderator:

Mary Ann Grena Manley, Founder and President, 15E Communications LLC
Mary Ann Grena Manley is the Founder and President of 15E Communications, a Washington, DC-based strategic communications firm specializing in environmental policy analysis, content creation, and brand leadership consulting. Before founding 15E in 2020, Mary Ann managed Bloomberg Industry Group’s coverage and analysis of global EHS and sustainability issues for over 20 years.