Kentucky environmental group calls Supreme Court wetlands decision ‘potentially calamitous’
Kentucky-based environmental groups are concerned about the effect of Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on the 1972 Clean Water Act. In a unanimous decision, the high court took the side of an Idaho couple and limited the scope of the EPA’s ability to control wetland pollution. Michael Washburn is the executive director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance.
“This is a ruling that threatens the integrity of the Clean Water Act, it seems to flatly go against all the ecological and scientific underpinnings up underpinnings of the Clean Water Act.”
Washburn said there are estimates of between 300- and 500-thousand acres of wetlands in Kentucky – and half of those would lose Clean Water Act protection.
“And by moving a lot of wetlands out of Clean Water Act protection, what we're threatened with is this very, very early stage of, of the way the water coming to us, just losing a level of protection and filtration.”
Washburn said Congress could act, but he’s not sure what Kentucky’s General Assembly can do, because of a state law that says it can enact no legislation stronger than the Clean Water Act.
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