Carper, DeFazio Lead Amicus Brief Ahead of Supreme Court Case Seeking to Limit Clean Water Act Protections

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, along with U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, led 167 current and former Members of Congress in filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In October, the Court will begin its new term with this challenge from conservative property owners seeking to strip essential protections from the Clean Water Act. The lawmakers contend in the amicus brief that the Court must uphold its current interpretation of the waters protected by the Clean Water Act, one of our nation’s most critical environmental laws.

“Huge progress has been made in protecting this nation’s waters but polluting and filling still threaten to destroy wetlands and other waters that provide valuable services to fisheries, wildlife, recreation, health, and drinking water.  The resolution of this matter could have a profound impact on whether this progress is sustained. This brief highlights the express choices Congress made in the Act regarding what waters are protected, the roles Congress assigned, and the Act’s explicit criteria,” the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers “…urge this Court to respect the policies in the statute Congress enacted and jurisdictional boundaries that have governed, regardless of party affiliation in the White House or control of Congress, for almost fifty years.”   

Full text of the lawmakers’ amicus brief can be found here.