A federal appeals court has ruled that Alabama is failing to adequately enforce water-pollution laws, thereby paving the way for citizens of the state to sue under the national Clean Water Act. Under the terms of that act, citizens may go to court to enforce the law only if the state has failed to prosecute polluters and only after filing 60-day notice of intent to sue. But because Alabama is doing a poor job of enforcing the law, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined that residents of the state may sue to enforce the law even if the state has already taken steps toward enforcement. Mike Odom, special projects director for the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation of Tallahassee, celebrated the ruling: “[T]he door has been opened wide and this will provide new opportunities for Alabama citizens to hold polluters accountable.”