Biodiversity protected through litigation
The Clean Water Act has an ambitious purpose. It exists to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the water. Protecting biological communities is a part of Clean Water Act and state water law enforcement. Further, the federal Endangered Species Act seeks to protect rare biota.
Clean Water Act - Designated Uses
Tennessee Water Quality Control Act - Criteria for Water Uses
Under the Clean Water Act, a "designated use" is a purpose for which a water body is set to be used, whether or not conditions the waterbody currently supports that use. In Tennessee, "Fish and Aquatic Life" and "Livestock Watering and Wildlife" as designated uses that directly involve biodiversity. When TCWN enforces permits for facilitieies that discharge effluent into water bodies with biodiversity oriented designated uses, TCWN supports biodiversity.
Endangered Species Act
Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973. If a species is “endangered” that means it is at risk of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A “threatened” species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. In the United States, it is unlawful to harm an endangered species. Further, the Act requires federal agencies to review and consult when threatened or endangered species are at stake due to a federal action.
TCWN has partnered with other organizations in Endanger Species Act litigation to protect endangered fish species native to Tennessee.