Supreme Court ruling on Hawaii case has “potential” impacts to Michigan groundwater


Courtesy: Michigan DNR

MAUI (WLNS) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Water Act requires a permit for discharges into navigable waters from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Great Lakes, as well as a few rivers in Michigan, are considered navigable, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The 6-3 ruling was issued in the County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund case earlier this year.

The central question in the case was whether discharges to groundwater that enter navigable water requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit under the Clean Water Act. This decision has the potential to impact existing federal groundwater regulations as well as state law and authority over groundwater, according to Brown and Caldwell Managing Principal of Geology/Hydrogeology Kelly Collins.

The ruling has implications for activities involving groundwater recharge, other recycled water uses, low impact development, and green infrastructure.

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