FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2023
Steven Fantes, Public Affairs Manager
617-817-1297 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Former EPA Director of Science and Technology Responds to SCOTUS Decision Regarding Waters of the United States
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to weaken federal clean water protections over wetlands, narrowing the scope of the Clean Water Act and its ability to protect our nation’s waterways.
In response, Dr. Elizabeth Southerland, a volunteer with the Environmental Protection Network and former Director of Science and Technology in EPA’s Office of Water, released the following statement:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision in Sackett v EPA is a major blow to the federal government’s goal to achieve no net loss of wetlands nationwide. Since 1989 the U.S. government has used Clean Water Act authority to either prevent the filling of wetlands or to permit filling only when an equal acreage of wetlands is reclaimed or restored. Wetland preservation is critical for providing flood control, absorbing pollutants, preventing shoreline erosion, storing carbon, and serving as a nursery for wildlife. Today’s decision is a big win for land developers and miners, who will now be free to destroy certain types of wetlands without paying for wetland reclamation. Today’s decision is a big loss for communities who will have to pay more to treat their drinking water and respond to increased flooding and shoreline erosion.”
Dr. Southerland is available to speak to the media about the updated standards and their effects on public health and the environment.
About Dr. Elizabeth Southerland: Dr. Southerland was with the EPA for 30 years, serving as Director of Science and Technology in EPA’s Office of Water before retiring in 2017. She has remained active on environmental issues as a member of the Environmental Protection Network and regularly testifies before Congress about clean water issues, PFAS, and emerging, unregulated contaminants.
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NETWORK
Founded in 2017, the Environmental Protection Network (EPN) harnesses the expertise of more than 550 former EPA career staff and confirmation-level appointees from Democratic and Republican administrations to provide the unique perspective of former regulators with decades of historical knowledge and subject matter expertise.