“U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Victory for the Clean Water Act!” by Angela Howe via Surfrider Foundation

“U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Victory for the Clean Water Act!” by Angela Howe via Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation and our co-plaintiffs in the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui case are celebrating an important victory today with the decision to protect water quality and the intent of the Clean Water Act by the United States Supreme Court.  In a 6-3 ruling, the majority of the court refused to allow a large loophole in the Act and found that liability for pollution exists “when there is direct discharge from a point source into navigable waters or when there is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge.”  This litigation was filed to stop polluting discharges from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Maui that discharges 3-5 million of gallons of treated sewage each day into the Pacific Ocean via the groundwater beneath the facility, devastating a formerly pristine reef and recreational resources, including at Kahekili Beach.  In April of 2012, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club-Maui Group, West Maui Preservation Association and Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, as represented by Earthjustice, filed suit in federal district court to address water quality violations of the County and the resulting intense threat to beachgoer health and safety posed by contaminated nearshore waters. The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) requires those who discharge pollutants into navigable waters from pipes or wells to obtain a federal permit.  The district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed with the plaintiffs, but the County appealed to the Supreme Court. The question presented to the Supreme Court was whether the CWA requires a permit when pollution originates from a point source (like the wastewater plant on Maui) but is conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater here.  The November 6, 2019 oral argument at...
“Snowboarding visionary Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65” by Eddie Pells (AP) and Dan D’Ambrosio (Burlington Free Press)

“Snowboarding visionary Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65” by Eddie Pells (AP) and Dan D’Ambrosio (Burlington Free Press)

Eddie Pells, Associated Press and Dan D’Ambrosio, Burlington Free Press Whether you had a gold medal hanging from your neck, were just learning how to stand on a snowboard, or were one of those flustered skiers wondering where all the kids in the baggy pants were coming from, you knew the name “Burton.” Jake Burton Carpenter, the man who changed the game on the mountain by fulfilling a grand vision of what a snowboard could be, died Wednesday night of complications stemming from a relapse of testicular cancer. He was 65. In an email sent to the staff at Burton, CEO John Lacy called Burton “our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we love so much.” Carpenter was not the inventor of the snowboard, but 12 years after Sherman Poppen tied together a pair of skis with a rope to create what was then called a “Snurfer,” the 23-year-old entrepreneur, then known only as Jake Burton, quit his job in Manhattan, moved back to Vermont and went about dreaming of how far a snowboard might take him. “I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then,” Burton said in a 2010 interview with The Associated Press. For years, Burton’s snowboards were largely snubbed at resorts — its dimensions too untested, its riders too unrefined, its danger all too real — and many wouldn’t allow them to share the slopes with the cultured ski elite in Colorado or California or, heaven forbid, the Swiss Alps. Read the Burlington Free...