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

New Judge, Same Result – $81 Million CWA Civil Penalty Appealed

U.S. District Court Judge Dee Drell (Western District, LA) recently denied a motion to alter or amend the Court’s judgment against CITGO Petroleum Corp.– allowing an $81 million judgment against the oil company to...more

Clean Water Act’s WOTUS Rule, Still on Trial: May 2016 Updates

As we previously covered, a joint rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers - the “Clean Water Rule: Definitions of ‘Waters of the United States’” (WOTUS) - has been the subject of...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges - All 10 EPA regions are seeking public comment on the draft 2017...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 46

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 46 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Colorado, New York, and Pennsylvania. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawsuit claims Delta fish harmed by relaxed water standards - Modesto Bee - Apr 25 - Relaxed water quality standards during the drought have harmed salmon, smelt, and other fish...more

Better Late Than Never: Massachusetts Moves to Obtain NPDES Delegation

Like most federal environmental programs, NPDES program authority is largely delegated to the states. Only four states aren’t delegated: Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. How is it that progressive...more

EPA Can Withold Certain Wastewater Data from the Public

On March 29, 2016, a federal judge ruled that the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) exemption for “confidential business information” (“CBI”) can cover wastewater discharge information collected by the United States...more

EPA Enforcement Initiatives Renew and Expand Industrial Target Priorities

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Clean Water Act’s WOTUS Rule: Summary and Updates

In June 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule, the “Clean Water Rule: Definitions of ‘Waters of the United States,’” defining the term “waters of the United...more

EPA Issues Updated Recommended Water Quality Criteria for Cadmium

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its updated Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Cadmium -- 2016 under Section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). 81 Fed....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Justices suggest support for landowners in wetlands case - Bloomberg - Mar 30 - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled in oral argument this week...more

Are Corps Jurisdictional Decisions Final Agency Action? It Appears So. Is This a Good Thing?

According to the trade press, today’s argument in Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes did not go well for the government. Pretty much the entire Court was seen as likely to conclude that Corps jurisdictional determinations are...more

Is the Corps’ Determination on Jurisdiction Over a Wetland Judicially Reversible?

The pending Supreme Court case, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. Inc. et al., no. 15-290, involves what constitutes a final agency action reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act....more

Massachusetts Considering Taking Control of Clean Water Permitting

Summary: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is considering a move that would place Clean Water Act permitting in the hands of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)....more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a particular site by issuing a “jurisdictional determination” (JD). A JD is of great significance to...more

Chesapeake Bay TMDL Here to Stay

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to consider an appeal challenging EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL), thereby bringing to an end the contentious years-long litigation over its legality. The Court’s...more

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

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Extends Comment Period On Chlorinated Paraffins Risk Assessments: On February 22, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the comment period on the draft risk...more

In the Heart of the Rainy Season: The New (Stayed) Clean Water Rule Covers Vernal Pools in California

After years of drought, the El Niño storms have been bringing much-needed rain and snow to California–albeit in quantities significantly less than we hoped for thus far. In addition to the anticipated snow packs, flowing...more

“Waters of the U.S.” Rule Still Subject to Nationwide Stay, For Now

Would you consider this a “Water of the United States” subject to the Clean Water Act? Well think again, because under a new rule, even a dry streambed or channel could be considered a “Water of the U.S.” and thus...more

Regulators and Environmental Groups Differ on How to Address Stormwater Contribution to Algae Blooms in the Charles River

The battle over phosphorous in the Charles River and its resultant toxic algae blooms is heating up again, with EPA finalizing its MS4 permit targeting municipalities and their stormwater runoff into the river and...more

Despite Progress, Energy Bill Remains Out of Reach

The Senate’s bipartisan energy bill continues to be a focal point of legislative debate on Capitol Hill. After a long standstill due to disagreements on how best to address the water crisis in Flint, MI, progress came after a...more

What Does the Health Care Industry Do Now When Disposing "Hazardous Waste" Pharmaceuticals?

Potentially affected health care facilities should evaluate current management practices, evaluate best management practices for regulated facilities, and develop a plan to prepare for and manage a regulatory inspection....more

Sixth Circuit Determines it has Jurisdiction to Hear Challenges to the Clean Water Rule

On February 22, 2016, in a 2-1 decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined it has jurisdiction over the numerous legal challenges to the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule), thus siding with the position...more

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