Supreme Court decides to move forward with SELC Clean Water Rule case

The Supreme Court of the United States turned down efforts by the Trump administration to delay ruling on which court has jurisdiction over challenges to the federal Clean Water Rule. (© Robert Llewellyn)

Today the Supreme Court decided not to grant the Trump administration’s request for a delay in a crucial case that could eventually decide which of the nation’s streams and wetlands are protected from polluters.

“We look forward to continuing this litigation now that the court has rejected the Trump administration’s efforts to delay the Clean Water Rule, which ensures our waters are safe for drinking, swimming, and fishing,” said Senior Attorney Catherine Wannamaker, who filed arguments urging the court not to allow the Trump administration’s delay. “The court’s ultimate decision on jurisdiction will be essential as we continue to fight for the protections provided by the Clean Water Rule, and prepare to defend against the administration’s efforts to destroy those protections. While we know this will not be the end of the administration’s attempts to roll back the Clean Water Rule, we will be there at every step of this process to fight for the clean water that we all depend upon.”

This request for delay was another attempt from the Trump administration to use an executive order to short-circuit judicial review of an important environmental safeguard.

Industry groups and some states are seeking to overturn the Clean Water Rule in the litigation before the court, while groups led by SELC are fighting to keep it in place. Meanwhile, in a recent Executive Order, the Trump administration has improperly directed the Environmental Protection Agency to consider using an overly narrow definition of waters subject to the Clean Water Act that would dramatically limit its important protections. Without the protections of the Clean Water Rule, it would be easier for factories, sewage treatment facilities, and other polluters to dump directly into these waters.   

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