Clean Water Safeguarded in West Virginia
April 1, 2004
In an unexpected move, the Bush administration recently dropped its appeal of a Fourth Circuit Court ruling that had overturned federal approval of a West Virginia water quality rule. In its original decision last fall, the Court ruled that the administration was wrong to approve the state’s anti-degradation water rule because it was full of loopholes and failed to provide the minimum protections under EPA’s standards. Under the Clean Water Act, anti-degradation rules are intended to prevent pollution and over-development of rivers and streams through a cost-benefit analysis. The administration’s unexplained dropping of the appeal means that West Virginia will have to reformulate state water policies to comply with the Clean Water Act. A great victory for co-plaintiff Sierra Club and West Virginians!
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