Clean Water Protections Under President Trump Continue to Be Eroded

Clean Water Protections Under President Trump Continue to Be Eroded

The Trump Administration’s severe rollback of the Clean Water Act’s coverage went into effect yesterday with numerous non-profits and states vowing litigation, and Colorado has already successfully pushed back implementing the new rule.  In addition, last week the administration decided not to regulate a chemical used in rocket fuel that has been linked to developmental damage ans the Massachusetts state Department of Environmental Protection failed to send federal regulators reports about the safety of watersheds required by the Act, according to the state auditor.

Why This Matters:  There is not much left of the Clean Water Act with the Trump Administration at the helm of the so-called Environmental Protection Agency.

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EPA Rule Unjustly Trumps State Clean Water Act Authority To Protect Rivers and Drinking Water

EPA Rule Unjustly Trumps State Clean Water Act Authority To Protect Rivers and Drinking Water

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday issued another rule dealing a blow to 40 years of settled law on the authority of states and tribes under the Clean Water Act to block fossil fuel projects such as natural gas pipelines and coal terminals that could pollute state waterways.

Why This Matters:  The EPA is turning the Clean Water Act on its head and undercutting states and tribes that are protecting the clean water and the health of their citizens.

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Earth Week Interviews with EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy and William Reilly

Earth Week Interviews with EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy and William Reilly

This week, The Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy produced a special double episode of its excellent Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, in which their Founding Director, Jason Bordoff, interviewed two champions of the environmental movement — one Republican, one Democrat. With the Center’s permission, we have excerpted each of them below. Earth Day At 50: […]

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Supreme Court Closes Loophole, Ensures the Integrity of the Clean Water Act

Supreme Court Closes Loophole, Ensures the Integrity of the Clean Water Act

In a huge win for the Clean Water Act, by a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court held that municipalities and others that discharge pollution are subject to the Act’s restrictions when they discharge the water into groundwater or ditches and it ends up in a water body covered by the law, such as a lake or the ocean.

Why This Matters: Six votes for a pro-conservation interpretation of the Act, including the Chief Justice and Trump-appointee Kavanaugh, has significance beyond this case.

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Interview of the Week: Richard Lazarus on Earth Day and Environmental Law and the Courts

Interview of the Week: Richard Lazarus on Earth Day and Environmental Law and the Courts

Richard is the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a leading expert on U.S. environmental laws. ODP:  In less than a week, it will be the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, which led to landmark laws like the Endangered Species Act, NEPA, and the Clean Water Act.  Leaving aside […]

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EPA’s Regulatory Leniency Allows Cities to Continue Raw Sewage Overflows

EPA’s Regulatory Leniency Allows Cities to Continue Raw Sewage Overflows

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the “Environmental Protection Agency has made it easier for cities to keep dumping raw sewage into rivers by letting them delay or otherwise change federally imposed fixes to their sewer systems.”  

Why This Matters:  The Obama Administration started the practice of giving cities a break on sewage overflows but according to officials from the prior administration, the bar was higher — a city had to demonstrate a hardship event like a natural disaster in order to get leniency.

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