Supreme Court Will Wade Into Clean Water Dispute

Feb 21, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to review a Hawaii case about clean water regulations, which is good news for the 18 states and many local governments that want the lower court’s ruling in that case overturned.

The dispute is over the scope of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), a landmark environmental law that has vexed judges, regulators and environmentalists since Congress passed it in 1972.

The federal law imposes tight restrictions on pollution that enters lakes, rivers, streams, oceans and other navigable waters, which the federal government unquestionably has the right to regulate. It says, for example, that no one can dump pollution from a “point source,” such as a pipe, into navigable waters without a permit.
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