MANHATTAN (CN) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted an illegal Final Rule that permits polluted water be sent from one water basin to another, despite court rulings prohibiting that, environmental groups claim in Federal Court. The June 9 Final Rule “exempts discharges of highly polluted water into unpolluted water regardless of any resulting violation of water quality standards in the receiving water body,” the complaint states.
“Under the Final Rule, salt water could be transferred into fresh water, sediment-laden water could be sent into clear drinking water reservoirs, warm waters could be pumped into cold water habitats such as trout streams, chemical-laden waters could be dumped into waters employed in farm and ranch irrigation, and invasive species could be pumped into waters not yet infested. EPA does not explain how the Final Rule, which leaves such transfers of pollutants unregulated by NPDES permits, can possibly be consistent with the fundamental ‘objective’ of the Clean Water Act to ‘restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.'”
Plaintiffs – Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Catskill-Delaware Natural Water Alliance, Federated Sportsmen’s Clubs of Ulster County, Riverkeeper, and the Waterkeeper Alliance – are represented by Karl Coplan with the Pace Environmental Law Clinic of White Plains.