First, this article will review the impetus and purposes for the Clean Water Act of 1972, including its citizen suit provision, particularly as these purposes relate to the elimination of specific harm or causation requirements in enforcement actions under its provisions. Second, this article will briefly review the basic elements of Article III standing requirements as enunciated by the Supreme Court, and the development of Supreme Court standing doctrine in environmental cases leading up to and including the Defenders of Wildlife decision. Then the article will survey the various approaches courts have taken in applying Article III standing doctrine to Clean Water Act citizens enforcement suits. Finally, this article will consider the effect of the Defenders of Wildlife decision and other Supreme Court standing doctrine on citizens enforcement standing under the Clean Water Act. This review concludes that Supreme Court standing doctrine, including the Defenders of Wildlife decision, supports a more inclusive approach to citizens suit standing than that currently prevailing in the courts.
Karl S. Coplan, Refracting the Spectrum of Clean Water Act Standing in Light of Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 22 Colum. J. Envtl. L. 169 (1997), available at http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/361/.