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Amicus Briefs on Navigable Waters Protection Rule

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers published the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which considerably restricts the waters and wetlands that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. We filed briefs in the Northern District of California and District of South Carolina focusing on the agencies’ economic analysis, which the agencies use to obscure the rule’s anticipated harms. We later filed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Northern District of New York, and the District of Massachusetts. We also supported a challenge in the District of Maryland to the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and a 2019 rule that further restricts federal regulatory protection under the Clean Water Act.

Our brief explains how EPA and the Army Corps rely on irrational assumptions and violate regulatory precedent to misrepresent environmental costs and compliance cost-savings. The agencies especially mistreat impacts on wetlands, likely neglecting roughly 90% of the wetlands-related costs that the rollback would cause. We urge the courts to rule in plaintiffs' favor in these cases.