Clean Water Act on Trial

How a misguided Supreme Court decision would leave our waterways open to polluters

This report foreshadows the devastating impacts of the Supreme Court's decision in Sackett vs. EPA, which eviscerated federal protections for roughly half of America's remaining wetlands and other waters as well.

Clean water


Public Domain | Public Domain

Published in October 2022, Clean Water Act on Trial explains how a Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA would drastically restrict the scope of our nation’s bedrock environmental law and leave many wetlands and other waterways without federal protection from polluters.

The report features examples of waters at risk in Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Update:  In May 2023, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in the Sackett case. Wiping aside decades of precedent, the ruling is not only wrong on the law but also at least as devastating for clean water as we and our allies anticipated in this report.



John Rumpler

Clean Water Director and Senior Attorney, Environment America Research & Policy Center

John directs Environment America's efforts to protect our rivers, lakes, streams and drinking water. John’s areas of expertise include lead and other toxic threats to drinking water, factory farms and agribusiness pollution, algal blooms, fracking and the federal Clean Water Act. He previously worked as a staff attorney for Alternatives for Community & Environment and Tobacco Control Resource Center. John lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his family, where he enjoys cooking, running, playing tennis, chess and building sandcastles on the beach.

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