Press Release | April 3, 2017

SELC Supports Supreme Court Decision To Move Forward with Clean Water Rule Case

Move Will Allow SELC, Others to Defend Value of Clean Water

Charlottesville VA – The Southern Environmental Law Center today released this statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision not to delay a crucial case that could eventually decide which 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 Catherine Wannamaker, an attorney in SELC’s Charleston office who had urged 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 dismantle 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 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 while groups led by SELC are fighting to keep it in place in the litigation before the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, The Trump Administration has improperly directed the agency to consider using an overly narrow definition of waters subject to the Clean Water Act that would dramatically limit its important protections in its recent executive order.  Without the protections of the Clean Water Rule, it would be easier for factories, sewage treatment facilities, and other polluters to directly dump into these waterways.


The Southern Environmental Law Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With nine offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and a regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect the South’s natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region.

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.