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

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: Committees Meet for the First Time

Most House and Senate committees met for the first time this past week. Hearings were spent receiving introductory briefings and listening to caucus staff, experts and agencies review the issues each committee is expected to...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, January 2017

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Promulgates Final TSCA Reporting And Recordkeeping Rule For Nanoscale Materials: After over a decade of effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued on January 12, 2017, a...more

Nationwide Permits Issued and Reissued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers

In a final rulemaking issued on January 12, 2017, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) reissued 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions, with some modifications. Simultaneously,...more

Fourth Circuit: CWA Permit Shield Requires Compliance with Incorporated Quality Standards

A recent Fourth Circuit decision will have wastewater dischargers taking a closer look at their NPDES permits and state water quality standards. The court of appeals held, in Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal...more

New circuit split raises questions about ‘permit shield’ defense in Clean Water Act cases

Can a discharger violate a general narrative state water quality standard incorporated into its national pollutant discharge elimination system (“NPDES”) permit when the permit does not contain specific numeric effluent...more

EPA FAQ on dam removal projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a document answering "Frequently Asked Questions" about the removal of obsolete dams. As noted by EPA, dams "provide important societal functions for drinking water...more

Global Private Equity Newsletter - Winter 2017 Edition: President Trump: The Outlook for Private Equity

All eyes are on Washington—or should we say Manhattan—these days, searching for clues about where our ship is heading with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the helm. Recently, there have been cabinet appointments to...more

U.S. EPA Chooses Flexible Approach to Stormwater General Permit for Small Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a final rule revising the regulations governing how small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) obtain coverage under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination...more

2017 Regulatory Policy Forecast: Environmental & Energy Policy

Pulling from deep experience serving as counsel in highly-regulated industries and careers on Capitol Hill, Balch & Bingham’s team of energy and environmental attorneys forecast what to expect in 2017 in Balch’s 2017...more

District Court Rejects Effort To Force EPA To Issue Federal Numeric Water Quality Standards For Mississippi River Basin And...

On April 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in Gulf Restoration Network, et al., v. McCarthy, vacated and remanded a decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana...more

EPA’s Cooperative Federalism Approach to Nutrients in the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico Prevails in Fifth Circuit Remand

In a critical decision preserving state authority in water quality management, a U.S. District Court has ruled that EPA has broad discretion to not establish federal numeric nutrient water quality standards because the Clean...more

EPA Publishes Final Rule for Small MS4 General Discharge Permits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit Remand Rule in the Federal Register on Dec. 9,...more

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

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Proposes To Add Nonylphenol Ethoxylates To Section 313: On November 16, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to add nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) as a category for...more

Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act — Highlights

Below is a snapshot of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act water-300x200(S. 612) passed late last week by the Congress. The President has indicated that he will sign the bill. Title I of the Act is...more

Forecast for Energy and Environment Regulations

President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to bring back jobs in the coal industry and reduce regulations that could inhibit economic growth. His transition team has already begun arriving at federal agencies to review the...more

Dakota Access Pipeline: Down but Not Out

On Dec. 4, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not decide on Dakota Access LLC’s easement application until the Corps prepares an environmental impact statement. The decision is significant in that...more

California Must Pick Up Stormwater Check

Local public agencies realized an important victory in a more-than-decade-long, who-should-foot-the-stormwater-bill battle — a battle focused on a permit issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to the...more

TSCA Criminal Provision Update: More Bark Than Bite

On June 22, 2016, Congress passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Congress kept standard violations—whether done knowingly or willfully—as...more

Wet Weather Regulations Now More Expensive Under EPA's Industrial Stormwater Settlement Penalty Policy

Heavy and consistent rainfall this summer, even before Tropical Storms Hermine and Julia and Hurricane Matthew, produced a tremendous amount of stormwater. Grass swales were too saturated to allow infiltration, and retention...more

EPA Rulemaking in the Trump Administration

Mr. Trump made cutting regulations a central promise of his campaign. At one point he suggested 70% of federal regulations could be eliminated. Although his staff quickly walked that number back, there is little doubt that...more

How President-Elect Trump’s Environmental Policy Might Shift Environmental Protection Responsibility to the States and Citizens

Donald Trump is set to assume the presidency on January 20, 2017. At Environmental Law Next we are taking a look at what that will mean for American environmental law. We will be providing our own perspective as well as...more

Impacts of the 2016 U.S. Election on Environmental Law, Policy, and Enforcement

The 2016 election results will have wide-ranging impacts on the future direction of environmental law, policy, and enforcement in the U.S. With 100 lawyers in offices around the U.S. focused on environmental and natural...more

What Now? U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Post-Election Outlook

Seyfarth Synopsis: With a dramatic change from a progressive democratic to a conservative republican administration, we anticipate that EPA is not only likely to pivot away from an enforcement heavy to a more business...more

Endangered Fish v. Humans: The Fight Over Competing Water Needs

The struggle to allocate scarce water resources between endangered and threatened fish and humans is not new. But droughts in the Southwest, which lower stream flows, and population increases, which raise demand, have...more

Environmental Notes - November 2016

EPA has revised its procedures for making certain changes to its “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” also known as SW-846. The test method and its compendium of guidance documents provide...more

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