EPA Flips Groundwater Stance Ahead Of High Court Case

Law360 (April 17, 2019, 9:45 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that the Clean Water Act does not require permits for groundwater pollution even if the contaminants end up in waters that are regulated, reversing a long-held position and giving the U.S. Supreme Court food for thought as it considers the issue in a closely watched case.

In a crystal clear interpretive statement, the EPA said "releases of pollutants to groundwater are categorically excluded from the act's permitting requirements," regardless of whether the groundwater is hydrologically connected to "navigable water" that is within the CWA's jurisdiction. The statement is an about-face from the agency's previous...

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