Appeals Court again sides with citizens protecting clean water

The Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond.

The United States Court of Appeals has rejected a major pipeline company’s request to reconsider the court’s April ruling in which it held that local citizen groups can enforce the Clean Water Act to stop continuing pollution of the Savannah River watershed in Anderson County, South Carolina, from a gasoline pipeline spill. 

In a case brought by SELC, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled in April that the groups Upstate Forever and Savannah Riverkeeper can proceed in federal court in South Carolina to stop the continuing flow of gasoline and diesel fuel into a tributary of the Savannah River near Belton. On May 30, the court denied Kinder Morgan’s request for rehearing.

 The Court of Appeals’ latest decision to deny rehearing is another win for clean water, not only for the Belton community in Anderson County, but also for citizens throughout the Southeast,” said Senior Attorney Frank Holleman. “Local citizens can now ask the court to require Kinder Morgan to stop the petroleum pollution of Anderson County’s waters that flow to the Savannah River.”

In December 2014, local residents discovered that Kinder Morgan’s underground Plantation Pipeline had ruptured, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. The fuel polluted a nearby Savannah River tributary immediately and, more than three years later, petroleum pollutants continue to flow into the waterway. Kinder Morgan had no legal authorization for this pollution.

The case now returns to U.S. District Court in South Carolina for enforcement of the Clean Water Act. 

More News

SELC, partners push back on attempts to weaken offshore drilling safety rules

As the Trump administration attempts to open the Atlantic to offshore drilling, conservation groups across the Southeast are pushing back on plan...

Public, politicians, scientists, and conservationists oppose rule threatening red wolf recovery

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) proposal to drastically cut protections for the only red wolf population left in the wild drew heated...

Federal court throws out another key pipeline permit

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today threw out the National Park Service’s permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in a case argued by SELC o...

Filed: N.C. groups challenge legislature’s unconstitutional power grab

Clean Air Carolina and the North Carolina NAACP, represented by SELC, filed suit today against North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore, Sen...

Trump administration releases destructive rollback of clean car standards

Today, the Trump administration released its proposal to rollback clean car standards – freezing fuel economy standards and greenhouse gas emissi...

SELC calls for submissions for Phil Reed Environmental Writing Awards

SELC is now accepting submissions for the 2019 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including reade...

More Stories