Supreme Court devastates federal wetlands protection

ACTION ALERT, Climate Change, Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Stormwater, Stormwater Issues, Tar-Pamlico Watershed, Water Quality

Posted on May 25th, 2023

This is important.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court rolled back critical protection for wetlands, which could mean disaster for North Carolina.

“The ruling today significantly reduces the EPA’s ability to regulate impacts to wetlands and many streams. This ruling has grave implications for many of our communities along the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse rivers and, if our state does not respond, will increase flood risks for all. Plain and simple — this ruling will mean more flooding and more polluted water for our future and across the entire country,” said Sound Rivers Executive Director Heather Deck.

We can still do something about this. States have the ability to protect wetlands and streams beyond the federal benchmark, but, right now, the North Carolina General Assembly is considering legislation (The Farm Act) that would tie North Carolina’s wetland protections to federal law, which would be a terrible mistake for our state. You can help us fight to protect our wetlands and waters and protect our families and businesses from more flooding and poorer water quality. 

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in an opinion joined by the three liberal justices, wrote that “…by narrowing the (Clean Water) Act’s coverage of wetlands to only adjoining wetlands, the Court’s new test will leave some long-regulated adjacent wetlands no longer covered by the Clean Water Act, with significant repercussions for water quality and flood control throughout the United States.”

We can still do something about this, which is to say we NEED to do something about this. Please help us by calling or emailing your legislator to let them know that less wetland protection means more flooding devastation during the next hurricane — and there will be a next one. You can also use our Action Alert here to write your state senator.

Read the New York Times article about the Supreme Court’s decision here.

Read the text of the Supreme Court decision here.

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