Supreme Court Decision Could Pave Way for Cape Water Clean-Up

On April 23, 2020 the Supreme Court issued a major ruling on the Clean Water Act in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund. The Court ruled that the law can forbid polluters from dumping waste into navigable streams, rivers, and coastal waters without a permit, even if the pollution reaches those waters through groundwater. Maui is a gazillion miles away from Cape Cod [actually it’s 5,047 miles] but the ruling will have direct implications for holding polluters accountable on the Cape.

According to the Conservation Law Foundation, “The decision directly applies to the damaging water pollution flowing into the bays surrounding Cape Cod from septic systems and other sources. The First Circuit Court of Appeals will be applying this important precedent in CLF’s pending case against the Wychmere Resort. The decision will have critical implications in CLF’s work to protect Cape Cod’s waters going forward as well.”

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