On July 24, 2018 an amicus curiae brief in support of Clean Water Rule was filed in the North Dakota Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Clean Water Rule case. The brief reiterates that the Clean Water Rule is scientifically sound and is based on state of the science studies, including those in the EPA's Connectivity Report.The Connectivity Report documents how wetlands and tributaries contribute to the chemical, physical and biological integrity of downstream waters. The July 24 brief supports Justice Anthony Kennedy's "significant nexus" opinion in Rapanos v. United States which has informed established law since 2006. SWS supports the Kennedy opinion due to the opinion's reliance on the relevant science.In 2006, SWS submitted an amicus curiae brief in the Rapanos Supreme Court case, providing an articulation of the underlying science to the Supreme Court justices.
SWS member Professor Royal Gardner (Director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy at Stetson Law), who won the 2018 SWS President's Service Award for his work on behalf of SWS with regard to the WOTUS Clean Water Rule, led the team of attorneys including Erin Okuno (Foreman Biodiversity Fellow at Stetson Law), Dr. Steph Tai (Associate Professor of Law at University of Wisconsin Law School), Kathleen Gardner, and Christopher Greer (Park Jensen Bennett LLP), who prepared the July 24, 2018 amicus curiae brief. The team filed this brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota. This team also filed the May 7, 2018 amicus curiae brief on behalf of SWS in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.SWS amicus curiae briefs can be read at: http://sws.org/Resources/letters-of-comment.html.