Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1972 to reduce levels of toxic substances in the nation's water supply and to prevent high levels of new contamination.  The CWA seeks to... more +
The Clean Water Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1972 to reduce levels of toxic substances in the nation's water supply and to prevent high levels of new contamination.  The CWA seeks to accomplish its stated goals by preventing point and nonpoint pollution sources, assisting wastewater treatment facilities and maintaining wetlands. less -
News & Analysis as of

[Event] Nossaman's 2016 Environmental and Land Use Seminar - September 13th, Costa Mesa, CA

Join us for our annual Environmental and Land Use Law Update! This complimentary morning seminar will be comprised of panel discussions on a spectrum of critical federal and state environment and land use issues, including...more

Time to Pay More: EPA Increases Maximum Civil Penalties

Remember the days when the maximum civil penalty EPA could assess for a violation of environmental law was $25,000 per day? Those days disappeared 26 years ago due to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of...more

Third Circuit Rejects Challenges to State Environmental Permits for Transco’s Pipeline Expansion Project

On August 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit released an opinion rejecting several challenges to environmental permits and authorizations granted by environmental regulatory agencies in New Jersey and...more

EPA Decides No Additional Regulations Are Needed to Address Stormwater Discharges from Forest Roads Under the Clean Water Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that, at this time, no additional regulations are needed to address stormwater discharges from forest roads under Section 402(p)(6) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The...more

EPA Declines to Regulate Forest Road Discharges Under the Clean Water Act

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a decision on July 5, 2016, that declined to regulate discharges from forest roads for regulation under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act. As such, it remains the case that...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

Federal - Notice of Availability of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Two Updated Chapters in the EPA Air Pollution Control Cost Manual - EPA is making two finalized chapters of the EPA Air Pollution Control...more

Supreme Court’s Environmental and Administrative Law Decisions in 2015-2016 Term

This Advisory briefly reports on some of the significant U.S. Supreme Court actions from January through June 2016 related to environmental and administrative law. Please see full Publication below for more information. ...more

California State Water Board Extends Public Comment Period for Wetlands Policy; New Permits Likely to be Required

Public Comments Due Aug.18 - The State Water Board recently held a public hearing on controversial proposed amendments to the California Ocean Plan and the Water Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed...more

EPA Raises Statutory Civil Monetary Penalty Amounts

On July 1, 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an interim final rule that modifies statutory civil monetary penalty amounts for statutes administered by the agency. EPA’s interim final rule, which...more

They Blew Us Off – Insights into the State of New Mexico’s Suits Against the EPA and the State of Colorado

While speaking at a recent conference on natural resource damages, the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, Ryan Flynn, outlined New Mexico’s grievances against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”)...more

Three Strikes and Mingo Logan Is Out: The D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA Withdrawal of Approval of Mountaintop Removal Disposal Sites

In 2013, the D.C. Circuit affirmed EPA’s authority to withdrawal approval of mountaintop mining disposal sites, even after the Army Corps has issued a Section 404 permit. In 2014, the District Court rejected Mingo Logan’s...more

Regulated Parties – 2, Regulators – 0

The United States Supreme Court has handed regulated parties their second win in four years concerning when they can take EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to court over wetlands permitting issues. In 2012, the...more

Corps of Engineers Issues Proposal on Nationwide Permits

In early June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) proposed to reissue its nationwide permits (“NWPs”) for certain wetland impacts. The proposed changes present some interesting issues and new opportunities for...more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

DC Court Confirms EPA May Reverse Its Position On Permit Issuance

In the latest installment in this long-running dispute, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit today, in Mingo Logan Coal Company v. EPA, ruled, in a 2 to 1 decision, that EPA satisfied its duties under the Clean Water...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Launches Advisory Panels: On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched two advisory panels designed to facilitate small businesses to provide feedback to EPA...more

Inflation Matters: EPA Civil Penalty Authority Receives a Dramatic Boost

A little-publicized section of the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 has led to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgating new interim regulations that increase by unprecedented amounts the civil...more

EPA Proposes Nationwide Changes to Discharge Permit Program

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed changes to the discharge permit program that will affect all dischargers and the terms and conditions in their future permits. The proposed rule would...more

Delay in Massachusetts Efforts to Assume Control of CWA Program

As we reported in our recent Massachusetts Environmental and Land Use Alert, Massachusetts is in the first stages of seeking delegation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Clean Water Act program. ...more

EPA Raises Statutory Civil Penalty Amounts

If the cost of doing business includes responding to and resolving periodic environmental and worker safety enforcement matters, the price goes up on August 1. The EPA is raising statutory civil penalty amounts for the many...more

Regulatory Enforcement for Food and Beverage Industry Heats Up

Mid-to-late June 2016, federal and state authorities brought a variety of enforcement actions against food and beverage companies under environmental, health, and safety statutes, suggesting increased governmental oversight...more

Massachusetts Moves To Assume Control of CWA Program as EPA issues Disputed MS4 Permit

Massachusetts’ status as one of only four states not in control of the Clean Water Act program within its boundaries may change as the state begins the process of applying to U.S. EPA for delegation of that program. ...more

Maximum Civil Penalties for Violations of Environmental Statutes are now Significantly Higher After Inflation Adjustment

Seyfarth Synopsis: EPA finalized its new per violation penalty rules that in some cases now increase by substantial amounts. In a federal rulemaking published last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...more

Wetlands Determinations - Uncertainty for the Clean Water Rule?

On May 31, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. holding that approved judicial determinations as to the presence of wetlands issued by the...more

Violations of Environmental Law Are About To Get More Expensive

On July 1, EPA promulgated an interim final rule making inflation adjustments to the civil penalties under statutes it administers. The adjustments are required by statute. The new amounts apply to violations that occurred...more

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