A case before the US Supreme Court hopefully will provide clarity as to the federal government’s jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act. Specifically, the Supreme Court will determine whether groundwater and soil contamination that spills into surface waters is regulated under the CWA.

Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Ric Morton, Todd Billmire and Brad De Vore have written about the Hawai'i Wildlife Fund v. Cty. of Maui case—and the underlying jurisdictional questions it raises—in a new article published by the National Law Review. The article originally was written as a Womble Bond Dickinson client alert .

In recent years, federal circuit courts have reached different conclusions regarding the reach of the CWA. The Ninth Circuit ruled in Hawai’i Wildlife Fund that pollutants released into injection wells did violate the CWA when they seeped via groundwater into the Pacific Ocean. However, the Fourth Circuit drew different conclusions in two subsequent cases, leading to the Supreme Court taking up the question of the CWA’s reach.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is certain to have far-reaching implications for permitting and enforcement pursuant to the CWA,” Morton, Billmire and De Vore write.

Click here to read “SCOTUS Will Review a Portion of the County of Maui Case Involving a Clean Water Act Citizen Suit” in the National Law Review.

Ric Morton counsels companies in federal and state regulatory compliance and dispute resolution. His practice focuses on environmental regulatory compliance, litigation and enforcement defense, as well as toxic tort and products liability litigation.

Todd Billmire represents a variety multinational manufacturers, energy companies, utilities, and municipalities in environmental litigation and compliance matters. Prior to practicing law, he worked as an environmental consultant focusing on site assessment, site remediation, and environmental compliance.

Brad De Vore has spent more than 30 years developing a leading practice that includes extensive toxic tort and environmental litigation experience for many domestic and multinational clients in sectors such as energy, chemicals, electronics, construction and real estate development.