AFS Supports States in Clean Water Act Lawsuit

Seventeen states filed suit challenging the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California asserting that the NWPR is contrary to the Clean Water Act (CWA) and arbitrary and capricious, in part, because of the EPA’s and the Army Corps’ disregard of scientific evidence. The plaintiff’s asked the court to issue a nationwide injunction to prevent the Rule from going into effect. AFS, along with 11 science societies, filed an amicus brief with the court highlighting available data and a scientific tool that were part of the rulemaking record and demonstrate the negative impact the 2020 Rule would have on the nation’s waters. Last month, the finalized NWPR largely ignored the scientific understanding of how streams and wetlands contribute to the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of downstream waters. The agencies failed to quantify the number of waters that the Rule would remove from Clean Water Act protection and made no effort to estimate the reductions in water quality and ecosystem services. Read the brief here.