The Supreme Court handed environmentalists a big victory on May 31, upholding a broad reading of the Clean Water Act. Siding with the state of Washington in a case brought by Tacoma and its local utility district, the justices decided that the law allows states to impose safeguards for recreation, aesthetic enjoyment, and other uses of waterways--in addition to regulating pollution. Environmentalists say the 230 dams coming up for federal relicensing may be subject to more conditions in the wake of the decision. And the Edison Electric Institute argues that the new hurdles may reduce hydroelectric capacity, which it says represents about 95% of the nation's renewable energy resources.
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