November 2019 – Kendall Brill & Kelly LLP Attorney Amanda D. Barrow authored a commentary in the Daily Journal regarding the County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 6. Ms. Barrow wrote that the decision “could carve a gaping loophole in the Clean Water Act’s regulatory regime.”
The Clean Water Act was designed to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” It requires a polluter to obtain a permit before adding “any pollutant to navigable waters” from a “point source”—a “discernable, confined, and discrete conveyance” like a “container” or “well.”
As Ms. Barrow noted, County of Maui asks the high court to interpret the breadth of this permitting requirement—specifically, whether the requirement applies to pollutants that travel from a point source to navigable waters through an intermediary, or whether it applies only to pollutants funneled directly from a point source into navigable waters.
The County of Maui and the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency argued that no permit is needed for pollutants that travel through groundwater, while a group of environmental organizations insisted a permit is required. Along with KBK Partners Richard B. Kendall and Nicholas F. Daum, Ms. Barrow served as counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in this case.