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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