Environmental interests were trounced in the 2009 Supreme Court term that ends Monday.
In five high-profile cases, the justices overturned decisions that favored environmentalists. They ruled in favor of the Navy in a case pitting national security concerns against the welfare of marine mammals; limited the scope of liability for a Superfund cleanup; and reversed a decision that held no cost-benefit test could be used to determine the best technology for withdrawing water from rivers to cool power-plant turbines.
In addition, the court held that five conservation groups lacked standing to challenge U.S. Forest Service regulations and found that the Army Corps of Engineers, not U.S. EPA, has permitting authority over mining-waste discharges under the Clean Water Act.
"This term's environmental decisions, taken as a whole, convey a message of extreme hostility to the goals and methods of environmental law," said John Echeverria, director of the ...