State Court Dismisses Attempt to Force Settlement of County of Maui Groundwater Case

(March 20, 2020) – A Hawaii circuit court judge recently dismissed a lawsuit filed against the mayor of the County of Maui challenging his decision not to settle the case currently before the US Supreme Court concerning whether pollution reaching navigable waters via groundwater or other diffuse media is subject to Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements.

NACWA filed a brief in the case in support of its member the County of Maui.

While the Supreme Court heard oral argument in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund in November, it has yet to issue a ruling and some county lawmakers have been attempting to settle the case over the mayor’s objection prior to any decision being rendered.  Although the timing of any Supreme Court opinion remains uncertain, the state court judge’s dismissal significantly increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule on this important issue. 

Please contact Amanda Aspatore, NACWA’s Chief Legal Counsel, with any questions concerning the County of Maui litigation.