Jonathan Adler at Eugene Volokh's blog points to a delightful piece of jurisprudence regarding the interpretation of the word daily as applied to an EPA interpretation of the Clean Water Act.
For years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has maintained that TMDLs need not establish daily discharge limits, even though TMDL stands for “total maximum daily load” (emphasis added). For some pollutants, the EPA approved TMDLs that set annual or seasonal, rather than daily, limits.
Responding to a suit seeking to limit polluters, an appeals court judge pointed out that the word daily as used in the regulation is not ambiguous.
Doctors making daily rounds would be of little use to their patients if they appeared seasonally or annually. And no one thinks of “[g]ive us this day our daily bread” as a prayer for sustenance on a seasonal or annual basis. Matthew 6:11 (King James).
The post and comments illustrate how very resourceful legal minds can become.
Once again I am greatful that my career has been spent dealing with lay people struggling with generic stupidity. If I had to operate in the nosebleed reaches of legal stupidity I would be forced to change vocations.