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EPA Issues Proposed Rule Interpreting Jurisdictional Reach of Clean Water Act: Deadline for Comments on the Proposed Rule is July...

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) formally issued a Proposed Rule today designed to clarify their regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The Proposed Rule will...more

EPA’s Proposed Rule for New Power Plants Could Trigger Excessive Title V Permit Fees

Proposed Greenhouse Gas Performance Standards for new power plants will have broader implications for Clean Air Act operating permit fees. The public comment period will soon close on May 9, 2014 for the Environmental...more

EPA And Corps Of Engineers Release Proposed Rule On Scope Of Waters Covered Under Clean Water Act That Would Significantly Expand...

On April 21, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly published a proposed rule to define those waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United...more

Proposed Rule Expands Scope Of Waters Covered By Clean Water Act

On March 25, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly proposed a new rule to clarify the scope of waters subject to the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule redefines the meaning...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Holds ESA Consultation Requirement Applies to Renewal of Long-Term Water Contracts

In a unanimous decision, eleven active judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the duty to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when a federal agency action...more

EPA Proposes Rule to Clarify CWA Jurisdiction

On March 25th, EPA released a draft of the long-awaited and highly-anticipated rule intended to clarify the scope of the Federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”). According to the EPA, the proposed rule does not expand the scope of...more

BC Environmental Assessment Office Fees

The Province of British Columbia approved an Order in Council dated April 11, 2014 to establish environmental assessment fees in British Columbia for the review of environmental assessment applications, orders and enforcement...more

New Law Allows Mining Operators to Remedy Compliance Issues and Retain AB 3098 List Status

Mining companies are subject to myriad requirements under the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) and implementing regulations that can trip up even the most diligent of operators from time to time. When a potential...more

Ohio Links Earthquakes to Fracking, Toughens Drilling Rules Near Fault Lines

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is tightening permit conditions for horizontal drillers after a report from state geologists found a “probable connection” between hydraulic fracturing and a string of small...more

California Water Commission Working on Inventory of State Water Storage Projects

As chair of the California Water Commission, I spoke last week at the inaugural Delta Stewardship Council Interagency Implementation Committee on the actions the Commission has taken, in collaboration with ACWA and the Delta...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...more

Why California Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries Need to Know About California's New Industrial Storm Water Permit

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) unanimously adopted a new Industrial Storm Water permit (2014 Permit). You can find the new Industrial Storm Water permit and supporting...more

Federal Agency Approvals Beyond the Scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

In the last month, two separate federal district courts have declined to extend the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (MBTA), to federal agency approvals of projects that plaintiffs alleged could...more

Radioactivity In The Oilfield: North Dakota Issues Material Handling Regulations Impacting Oil And Gas Operations

On April 10, 2014, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) announced new permit requirements for oil, gas and saltwater disposal wells. The new regulations, which go into effect on June 1, are targeted at the proper...more

Governor's Office of Planning & Research Seeks Input to Improve California's Groundwater Management

BB&K to Provide Input to the State on Groundwater Management - The Office of Planning & Research (OPR) is seeking stakeholder input on actions to improve groundwater management in California, consistent with the...more

EPA’s Residual Permitting Authority

Continuing on the stormwater theme I began in my last post, the next topic I intend to cover is EPA’s so-called “residual” authority under the Clean Water Act. The statute specifically requires stormwater permits for...more

Is There a De Facto Moratorium on Well Stimulation in California?

SB 4 did not place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing or other well stimulation treatments. SB 4 specifically states that so long as an operator complies with the notification and documentation requirements...more

Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments (February 2014)

A. Fast Track Regulations - 1. 9VAC5-10. General Definitions (Rev. D13) (amending 9VAC5-10-20). Statutory Authority: § 10.1-1308 of the Code of Virginia; federal Clean Air Act (§§ 110, 111, 123, 129, 171, 172,...more

Third District Construes CEQA Guidelines’ Class 23 Categorical Exemption And “Unusual Circumstances” Exception In Rejecting...

In an exceptionally thorough and well-reasoned opinion, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging respondent 14th District Agricultural Association’s (District)...more

City Fails to Adequately Mitigate "Urban Decay" and Energy Impacts of Big Box Retail Project

In the latest decision addressing challenges to "big box" projects under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), on February 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal invalidated the approval of a retail project in...more

CEQA Alert: Court of Appeal Addresses Inadequate Blight/Urban Decay Mitigation and Energy Impact Analyses

In California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (opinion filed 2/28/14; partial publication ordered 4/1/14), the Third Appellate District ruled that the City of Woodland violated the California Environmental Quality...more

Federal Court Ruling Creates Effluent Limit Paradox - Violations may lead to suits, penalties under Clean Water Act

A federal judge in West Virginia ruled on March 31, 2014 that holders of water discharge permits, known as NPDES permits, must comply with water quality standards for parameters that the permit only requires to be monitored. ...more

Obama Administration Releases Proposed Rule on "Waters of the United States"

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule that will impact many segments of the U.S. economy, greatly expanding future permitting requirements. The proposed rule...more

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