WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today applauded the Supreme Court decision in Coeur Alaska Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority in the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision, “Today’s final rule clarifies that any material that has the effect of fill is regulated under section 404.” The Supreme Court reversed a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that had invalidated a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit for the discharge of mine tailings.
“This decision is another positive step in clarifying the reach and application of the Clean Water Act,” Senator Inhofe said. “The Kensington gold mine will now be able to get ready for production to commence, providing high wage paying jobs and a true economic stimulus to Southeast Alaska. It is imperative that we develop our mineral resources in an environmentally responsible way to ensure our economic and national security as well as provide much needed jobs during these turbulent economic times.”