NGWA and WSC Statement on SCOTUS Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund Decision
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- April 24, 2020 -- “While today’s ruling came as a disappointment, we respect the Supreme Court’s decision on this matter. We maintain that states should have the right to manage their groundwater and we are interested in exploring legislative avenues to bring clarity to this issue. Today’s SCOTUS decision clearly indicates there is more work to be done.”
Last year, NGWA and WSC filed an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief in the Maui Vs. Hawaii Wildlife Fund case arguing the release of pollutants by Maui County is covered by the nonpoint source provisions contained in 33 U.S.C. § 1329 of the Clean Water Act. At issue was whether the release of contaminants into groundwater, which eventually makes their way to navigable waters, requires a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Given the possible ramifications for the groundwater industry, Water Systems Council and the National Ground Water Association filed the joint amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief in the case, arguing in part that states are regulating, and is the appropriate government to regulate, groundwater.