Environmental Protection

RELEASE: Handing Environment a Win, Court Follows Text of Clean Water Act

WASHINGTON – Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in County of Maui v. Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, which held that a direct discharge, or the functional equivalent of one, of pollutants into navigable waters from a point source requires a permit under the Clean Water Act, Constitutional Accountability Center Chief Counsel Brianne Gorod issued the following reaction:

Coming the day after Earth Day, the Court’s ruling this morning is a welcome victory for environmental protection. By following the text, structure, and purpose of the Clean Water Act, a cross-ideological majority of the justices rightly rejected efforts to create a loophole in a key environmental law that Congress passed to protect our nation’s waters. As the majority wrote, “EPA’s oblique argument about the statute’s references to groundwater cannot overcome the statute’s structure, its purposes, or the text of the provisions that actually govern.” And as Justice Kavanaugh noted, the late Justice Scalia’s reasoning in a previous case firmly underscores today’s ruling. 



CAC case page in County of Maui v. Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/county-of-maui-v-hawaii-wildlife-fund/


Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.


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