May 25, 2023
“We are very disappointed with the Court’s decision. Everyone involved has understood for fifty years since the Clean Water Act was passed, that protecting our nation’s lakes, rivers, and streams requires protecting upstream tributaries and adjacent wetlands as well. Wetlands hold and filter out pollutants, they retain stormwater and reduce flooding, they provide critical habitat for wildlife, and they soak up carbon. But now, contrary to the science and contrary to everyone’s reasonable expectations, most of those wetlands are going to lose federal protection. The Court clearly got this one wrong, at great cost to the environment and to taxpayers.
“Here in the Midwest, we have lost most of the wetlands the region once had, through indiscriminate drainage and development. The burden of protecting the wetlands we still have will now fall back on state and local governments, who have, at best, a checkered record. Unfortunately, the Court’s decision means dirtier water, more uncontrolled flooding, more net carbon emissions, and a significant loss of wildlife habitat.”