Clean Water Rule Update

Clean Water Rule
The future of the Clean Water Rule remains in doubt. The Trump Administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to pause before it reviews which lower court should hear challenges to the Obama Administration's Clean Water Rule. The Justice Department filed a motion seeking to stay the briefing schedule in the jurisdictional case. The reason given was President Trump's executive order that called on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and revise or rescind” the rule.

The Clean Water Rule clarified the wetlands and streams that receive protection under the 1972 Clean Water Act. The suit in front of the Supreme Court asks the justices to decide whether federal appeals courts or district courts hear the legal challenges to the rule. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has ruled that it, not U.S. district courts, have jurisdiction in the case.

Meanwhile, the administration has not provided much information in how it wants the rule revised. With opponents and supporters of the rule fully engaged, it is likely the rule will end up before the Supreme Court in the future.

The League and many other conservation organizations support the rule. One out of every three Americans get their drinking water from waters protected under the rule, and it protects wetlands that are critical for migratory birds and flood protection.