Supreme Court Sends Clean Water Cases Back to District Courts
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled today that multiple challenges to the Clean Water Rule should be heard by district courts, reversing a prior decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Ohio finding jurisdiction to review consolidated challenges in that court.
The following is a statement by Jon Devine, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“While today’s decision may extend the timeline for litigation over the rule, the good news is that it should put the Clean Water Rule back into effect widely, ensuring clear and strong protections for our nation’s waters.
"The Clean Water Rule provides strong protections for streams, wetlands and other bodies of water that feed the drinking water supplies for one in three Americans. It also helps prevent dangerous flooding, helps provide habitat for the fish we eat, and supports a robust recreational economy."
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly signed the Clean Water Rule in May 2015. Shortly thereafter, a federal court halted its implementation pending the resolution of the litigation.
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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 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.