News | July 23, 2018

SELC appeals harmful clean water injunction

On behalf of National Wildlife Federation and One Hundred Miles, SELC appealed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia to preliminarily enjoin the Clean Water Rule in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and seven other states across the country. The Clean Water Rule provided clear protections for small streams and wetlands in the Southeast that protect downstream waters from pollution and reduce flooding.

Clean water is fundamental to our health and way of life, and communities throughout the South rely on critical safeguards to their water,” said Blan Holman, managing attorney for SELC’s Charleston office. “The court wrongly decided to put a preliminary hold on those safeguards to prevent them ever from going into effect. We are doing everything we can, including this appeal, to defend America’s clean water protections from attacks by polluters and politicians.

For nearly 50 years, the Clean Water Act has provided essential protections to streams, rivers, and wetlands—and given state and local governments tools to keep our water clean. This case, brought by a number of activist state attorney generals and joined by industry, challenges a rule clarifying the waterways protected under the Clean Water Act. Without the clarity provided by the Clean Water Rule, the agencies are forced to apply a case-by-case scheme that fails to protect streams and wetlands.

In this case, SELC was recently allowed to intervene and defend these important safeguards when the current administration refused to do so. SELC also is challenging the EPA’s recent efforts to suspend and weaken clean water protections in a federal court in Charleston.