On Dec. 2, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court held argument in three consolidated cases to decide if Clean Water Act (``CWA``) regulations imposing the use of ``best technology`` allow the EPA to perform a cost-benefit analysis. This case involves whether the CWA requires the water intake structures on older power plants to be retrofitted with the current``best technology available for minimizing adverse environmental impact`` on fish. The Second Circuit, siding with environmentalists, held that it did because the EPA`s analysis is limited to a narrow ``cost-effectiveness`` test and cannot take into account the burden placed on industry. The EPA argued that the CWA already allows a full cost-benefit analysis where human health can be impacted and that it makes no sense to argue that Congress sought to provide fish more protection than people. During oral argument, questions were raised about how such an analysis would work (valuing aquatic life) with some justices suggesting that the court should defer to the EPA.

Link to the Entergy v. EPA briefs.

Link to STLToday article.