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Maui Wins Big In U.S. Supreme Court Ruling On Clean Water

In the good news department, the Surfrider Foundation just won a big decision in the United States Supreme Court. In a 6-3 ruling, the court stood in defense of the Clean Water Act.

The litigation was originally filed back in April of 2012 against the County of Maui as a result of groundwater pollution from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility.

Surfrider and its co-plaintiffs alleged that three to five million of gallons of treated sewage was finding its way into the Pacific Ocean each day through groundwater beneath the facility. As a result, nearby beaches and reefs were dramatically impacted.

"Congratulations are deserved for Surfrider Foundation's Maui Chapter that has been working on the complex and arduous campaign for over a decade in order to reach today's rewarding decision," reads a statement from Surfrider's Angela Howe.

The County of Maui and Environmental Protection Agency had been pushing for a stricter reading of the Clean Water Act. They contended that the pollution did not "directly" enter the waterway. The Supreme Court agreed with Surfrider that there was protections in the law for groundwater pollution, referred to as point source pollution, such as this.

The case has now been remanded to the 9th Circuit of Appeals, where the Surfrider believes they will ultimately be victorious.

"Surfrider Foundation is very pleased with the Court's ruling today, and we are confident that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in our favor on remand," continues the Surfrider statement.

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