SCOTUS Lets Stand Water Transfers Rule

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In a decision this week, the US Supreme Court declined to take up the case against EPA’s Water Transfers Rule.  During the George W. Bush administration, EPA finalized a rule that exempted from NPDES permits the transfer of water from one jurisdictional water body to another.  Water transfers are commonly used by water systems in the management of their source water reservoirs and a requirement for an NPDES permit would be an added cost and administrative burden on the operation of the water system.  The EPA rule was being challenged by environmental groups and some states.  Other states sided with EPA in its defense of the rule.  The Second Circuit deferred to EPA ‘s determination that if there was no intervening contribution of pollutants from industrial or other sources, then an NPDES permit was not required.  By declining to hear the appeal, the Supreme Court let stand the lower court decision and keeps the existing EPA rule in place.