December 17, 2020 – Today, the Emmett Clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in support of the plaintiffs in Conservation Law Foundation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs are challenging the so-called Navigable Water Protection Rule, promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  This regulation dramatically reduces the number of streams and wetlands that are protected under the Clean Water Act, with potentially catastrophic consequences for water quality, including in national parks.

The Clinic’s brief argues that the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act because the agencies failed to conduct an adequate analysis of the rule’s impacts on the scope of protected waters, and of the serious environmental, ecological, and recreational consequences it will produce.  As a result, the brief concludes, the rule is inconsistent with the CWA’s primary goals to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution in the nation’s waters.  The brief supports these arguments by describing the expected impacts of the rule at national parks around the country.

The brief follows up on an earlier comment letter that the Clinic filed on behalf of NPCA during the rulemaking process.

Clinical students Natalie Sowinski, JD’22, and Nanding Chen, JD’20, worked on the brief under the supervision of Deputy Director Shaun Goho.

The brief is available here: Conservation Law Foundation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (D.Mass., Case No. 20-cv-10820-DPW)