While litigants and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continue to debate the fate of the agency’s 2015 rule defining jurisdictional waters under the Clean Water Act (Act), environmentalists have scored a victory – one that may cause a widespread re-evaluation of permitting status.

Last week the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of environmental groups challenging the County of Maui’s decades-old practice of injecting partially treated wastewater from its wastewater treatment plant into wells. The wells leaked, and the wastewater subsequently migrated through groundwater to the ocean. See Hawai’i Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, __ F.3d __ (Ninth Cir. 2018).

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