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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

Democrats to take up immigration reform next week

Biden in the Oval Office in January. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House will vote on two immigration bills next week, including one to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday on a call with the Democratic caucus.

Why it matters: This is likely the only realistic shot the Biden administration has at this point to pass immigration reform.

Scoop: Biden briefing calls for 20,000 child migrant beds

President Biden, during a virtual meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

A briefing scheduled for President Biden this afternoon outlines the need for 20,000 beds to shelter an expected crush of child migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The rapid influx of unaccompanied children is building into the administration's first new crisis. A presentation created by the Domestic Policy Council spells out the dimensions with nearly 40 slides full of charts and details.

FBI director: Jan. 6 Capitol attack was domestic terrorism

The FBI views the Jan. 6 Capitol siege as an act of domestic terrorism, director Christopher Wray testified in his opening statement Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The FBI's designation of the attack as domestic terrorism puts the perpetrators "on the same level with ISIS and homegrown violent extremists," Wray said.