Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to EPA rule

Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to EPA rule

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday declined [order list, PDF] to hear a case challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) interpretation of the permit requirement codified in the Clean Water Act (CWA) [text, PDF]

The question for the court in Riverkeeper v. Environmental Protection Agency [docket] was whether the CWA requires dischargers to have a permit for every water transfer, pursuant to the CWA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System provision. The petitioners argued [text, PDF] in their brief that, “the Water Transfer Rule does not represent EPA’s initial, or even consistent, interpretation of the term ‘addition’ in the Act.” The government argued [text, PDF] that Congress did not intend for every discharging authority to first obtain a permit for typical water transfers when the transfer does not add pollutants to the water and that Congress clarified this in 2008.

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled in favor of the EPA, finding deference should be given to the agency’s interpretation.