EPA Cannot Regulate Stormwater Flow Rate as a “Surrogate” for Sediment Runoff, According to Federal Court

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On January 3, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority in its attempt to regulate stormwater flow as a surrogate for controlling sediment runoff. Although sediment is a Clean Water Act “pollutant,” according to the court, stormwater flow rate is not. Consequently, EPA’s authority does not extend to regulating nonpollutants as surrogates for pollutants, representing a major victory for municipalities and states responsible for stormwater discharges and MS4 stormwater systems.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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