In the Headlines
May 25, 2023

Supreme Court Weakens EPA Power to Enforce Clean Water Act

The Washington Post

Environment attorney Rafe Petersen spoke with The Washington Post about a U.S. Supreme Court decision that will cut back the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) power to regulate the nation’s wetlands and waterways. The ruling affects one of the most fundamental authorities at the EPA, its ability to extend protections to upstream waters in order to protect downstream water quality for drinking and wildlife. It will prevent the agency from putting federal protections on as much as 118 million acres of wetlands. The article explains that this decision will likely force the Biden Administration to abandon — or at least restart — an effort it began in 2021 to resolve years of uncertainty with new definitions on the type of waterways EPA rules can protect, leaving more of that power up to state governments.

“I don’t see how they get away from that,” said Mr. Petersen. “The Biden Administration is really boxed into the corner.”

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