Supreme Court rejects Trump-backed clean water ‘loophole’ in ‘high-profile’ environmental case

  • 04/24/2020 1:00 pm ET Molly Taft
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Editors note: This article was produced in partnership with Earth Day Network. In a democracy, every voice matters. Click here to pledge to vote on environmental progress in 2020.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled on a key part of the Clean Water Act, handing environmental groups a partial win and striking down the Trump administration’s argument for a narrower reading of the rule.

In a case involving a water treatment plant in Hawaii that discharged four million gallons of sewage per day into groundwater, the court ruled 6 to 3 that polluters must abide by the act when discharging waste into the ground, rather than directly into waterways.

The Trump administration had filed a brief claiming that the act does not cover pollutants that travel indirectly in groundwater to reach waterways, an argument that Justice Stephen Breyer called “an obvious loophole” in his opinion, according to the Washington Post.

According to CNBC:

The case is the most high-profile environmental dispute of the Supreme Court’s term.

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