Data for: 3456988

Published: 19 September 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/vmkxsvfyh5.1
Erin Miller


In 2018, the Sixth and Ninth Circuit Courts split on decisions regarding the reach of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund in order to resolve this issue once and for all. However, environmental groups are urging Maui County to drop their appeal to avoid a potentially damaging ruling. If the Supreme Court decides that the reach of the CWA should be construed narrowly, as the plurality opinion in Rapanos v. United States did, the United States will likely suffer devastating impacts to water quality. It is likely the Supreme Court will rule to narrow the reach of the CWA considering the current composition of the Court. Maui County Council may ultimately decide to settle their case instead of risking negative public reception, an unfavorable decision, or both. Regardless of a Supreme Court decision, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to take action based on these circuit decisions. In lieu of a Supreme Court decision and potential inaction by the EPA under the current administration, states should be compelled, through local and state legislation, to fill in the gaps created by the ambiguity of the CWA.



Legal Issue in Social Sciences