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Courts Ordering and Overseeing Long-term Remediation in Watersheds

The courts in the following three examples from Colombia, Argentina, and Pakistan each considered cases involving an entire watershed and created unique solutions to supervise the long-term cleanup and restoration of the river systems. The Colombia Consejo de Estado, the country’s highest administrative appeals court, issued a judgment in 2014 against companies, government agencies, and municipalities that caused or failed to prevent the degradation of the Bogotá River watershed.

drinking water, Environmental Rule of Law, reporting, Waste management, water pollution, water treatment
Argentina’s Supreme Court Orders Comprehensive Environmental Response

Beatriz Mendoza and a group of other impoverished residents of the Matanza-Riachuelo River basin, a heavily polluted area of Buenos Aires, fled suit against the federal, provincial, and municipal governments and 44 industrial polluters. They relied in part on section 41 of the Argentine Constitution, which guarantees a right to a “healthy and balanced environment fit for human development.” The Supreme Court of Argentina recognized the standing of three additional organizations that had an interest in the collective right to a healthy environment.

Access to information, Access to justice, constitutional law, Enforcement, environmental impact assessment, Environmental Rule of Law, Human rights, industrial waste, standing to sue, water pollution