Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The United States Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Thursday that sewage plants and other industries must abide by environmental requirements under the Clean Water Act when sending dirty water on an indirect route to rivers and oceans, AP reports.

Why it matters: The ruling rejects the Environmental Protection Agency's opinion that industries do not have to comply with the regulations if they discharge polluted water into the ground.

  • The EPA under President Trump reversed its position on ground discharge, which it had held for 30-years.

What they're saying: “We hold that the statute requires a permit when there is a direct discharge from a point source into navigable waters or when there is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court.

The other side: Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas dissented.

  • “Based on the statutory text and structure, I would hold that a permit is required only when a point source discharges pollutants directly into navigable waters,” Thomas wrote.

The big picture: The decision came from Hawaii case about whether a sewage treatment plant needs a federal permit to send wastewater underground.

  • Environmental studies have found that the wastewater eventually reaches the ocean and has damaged a coral reef near a Maui beach, according to AP.

Thought bubble, via Axios' Ben Geman: It’s the latest twist in roughly two decades or more of legal and regulatory battles over the reach of the Clean Water Act — a bedrock environmental law subsequent administrations have interpreted very differently in terms of the breadth of protection it provides.

Go deeper: Trump administration to weaken mercury emission regulations

Go deeper

Biden raises $141 million more than Trump

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks during a September campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising committees raised $466 million cash on hand, the presidential candidate's team announced late Sunday.

Why it matters: President Trump's campaign raised $325 million, his campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh announced earlier Sunday.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Virtual Emmys address chaotic year for American TV and society

Emmy Host Jimmy Kimmel during rehearsals Friday for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Emmy Awards Sunday night addressed the major U.S. issues this year — including the protests on systemic racism and police brutality, the wildfires engulfing parts of the West Coast, the census, the pandemic, essential works and the election.

Why it matters: Award shows have always addressed wider cultural issues, but this year — amid unprecedented stress and uncertainty — that trend has accelerated.

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 30,919,638 — Total deaths: 959,332— Total recoveries: 21,152,996Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30p.m. ET: 6,799,141 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.