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Supreme Court case involves Lahaina wastewater plant

WASHINGTON >> The Supreme Court agreed today to consider a case about the reach of landmark federal clean-water protections, as the Trump administration spars with conservation groups on the same crucial environmental question.

The justices agreed today to hear a case involving the Clean Water Act. The act requires polluters to get a permit when they release pollution from a source such as a pipe or well to certain bodies of water such as rivers and lakes that are called “navigable waters.” The case involves treated wastewater from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility.

The issue the Supreme Court agreed to decide involves whether permits are required under the law when the pollutant is released into soil or groundwater but later reaches navigable waters.

More than a dozen states and the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.

The court’s decision to hear the case comes as the Trump administration separately is proposing to rewrite the federal interpretation of what wetlands and waterways fall under the protections of the Clean Water Act. The proposal would be one of the administration’s biggest environmental rollbacks.

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