Bloomberg Law
April 24, 2020, 7:57 PM

Environmentalists Eye Power Plants After Supreme Court Ruling

Ellen M. Gilmer
Ellen M. Gilmer

The Supreme Court’s embrace of a new standard for federal water permitting puts a bull’s-eye on power plant waste sites, environmentalists say.

The high court on Thursday ruled that water pollution that takes an indirect route from a discrete source to a federally regulated waterway needs a Clean Water Act permit when it’s the “functional equivalent” of a direct discharge.

The justices rejected arguments from the Trump administration and industry lawyers that such indirect pollution falls beyond the scope of the federal permitting program, concluding in a 6-3 opinion that the approach would open a huge loophole in the ...

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