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Maui Urges Supreme Court to Topple Groundwater Ruling

May 10, 2019, 7:34 PM

Maui shouldn’t be held liable for discharging treated wastewater that seeped through groundwater into the Pacific Ocean, the county told the Supreme Court May 9.

The Clean Water Act requires a permit for the release of pollutants from a point source—a single, identifiable source of pollution, such as a pipe or a drain. But it doesn’t require a permit when pollutants originate from a point source but are conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater, Maui argued.

The Ninth Circuit found that the Maui County-owned Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility required a Clean Water Act discharge permit ...