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

Supreme Court Allows Early Challenges to Wetlands Jurisdictional Determinations

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a property owner can go to court to challenge a determination by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that part of the property is “waters of the U.S.” or connected wetlands and therefore...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: Supreme Court Cases to Watch

In this eight-week alert series, we are providing a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector. Lawyers from across the firm are discussing issues ranging from cybersecurity, antitrust and intellectual...more

EPA Updates Penalty Calculation Guidance for Industrial Stormwater Discharges

On September 8, the EPA published Supplemental Guidance to the 1995 Interim Clean Water Act Settlement Penalty Policy for Violations of the Industrial Stormwater Requirements. This new guidance applies only to stormwater...more

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

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Extends Comment Period On PIPs: On August 17, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the comment period on its White Paper describing how EPA intends to modify its...more

CWA: EPA Settlement Telegraphs Changes to General Permit Coverage for Facilities with Coal Tar Sealed Pavement

On August 16, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement in Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuits filed over its 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial...more

District Court Rejects Petition for Preliminary Injunction to Stop Dakota Access Pipeline, Triggering Forceful Response by Federal...

On September 9, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a motion for a Preliminary Injunction against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a pipeline...more

Do you need a Section 404 permit for your real estate development?

Real estate developers recognize the importance of obtaining a Phase I environmental site assessment to review existing environmental site conditions. However, other conditions — creeks, streams, ditches or other water...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown and lawmakers reach deal for California climate funds - San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 31 - California lawmakers on Wednesday approved a $900 million spending...more

[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

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