Bloomberg Law
May 26, 2023, 9:47 PM

US Forest Service Fire Retardant Spray Violated Clean Water Act

John Woolley
John Woolley

The US Forest Service violated the Clean Water Act when the agency’s aircraft sprayed fire-retardant chemicals without a permit, a Montana federal court ruled.

The Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, a nonprofit advocacy group, was granted partial summary judgment Friday in their lawsuit against the USFS concerning pollution in 10 western states.

The US District Court for the District of Montana held that the USFS’s actions violated the CWA, but declined to block the agency from discharging further fire retardant into navigable waters out of concern for public safety.

“The requested injunction could conceivably result in greater harm from ...

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