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U.S. Supreme Court

Court Backs EPA Action (Updated)

Posted Jun 25, 2007 12:30 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against environmentalists who sought to protect endangered species in a dispute with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The case involves conflicting mandates in the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, Associated Press reports.

The court ruled for the EPA, which ignored the species law when it gave the state of Arizona the authority to issue water pollution permits. The court ruled the Clean Water Act prevails in such situations.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority in the 5-4 decision.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled the EPA had a statutory duty to consider the risk of harm to endangered species, according to a summary in LawMemo.

The ruling is in the consolidated appeals, National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife, No. 06-340, and Environmental Protection Agency v. Defenders of Wildlife, No. 06-549 (PDF).

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