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Supreme Court Allows EPA to Enforce Clean Water Act
NRDC: ‘Polluters Will Still Be Held Accountable’

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2012) --  In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today left intact the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to issue compliance orders that protect our health and our environment. 

The following is a statement from Jon Devine, senior attorney in the water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, on the decision in Sackett vs. Environmental Protection Agency:

“The Supreme Court did not give anyone a license to pollute. Pure and simple. Those who pollute our waters will still be held accountable.

“Today’s decision affirmed the legal principle that the EPA under the Clean Water Act may issue compliance orders to promote speedy resolution of pollution problems.  It grants recipients of such orders, at a time of their choosing, a day in court to challenge them. The court did not adopt any of the radical ideas advanced by industry and its allies that could have severely hampered public health and environmental protections.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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