Clean Water Act Environmental Protection Agency Permits

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

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

“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

Environmental Notes - February 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked implementation of President Obama’s signature plan to address climate change pending a decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the plan’s legality. The Clean Power Plan is being...more

Federal Agencies Announce Steps to Expedite Reviews of Infrastructure Projects

On September 22, the Administration announced two new policies that will facilitate a more transparent and efficient permitting and review process for complex infrastructure projects. First, federal agencies announced...more

The Ninth Circuit Holds Transfer of Water in Klamath River Basin Does Not Require Clean Water Act NPDES Permit

On August 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Oregon district court’s ruling that a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is not required for the discharge of water from...more

How Does The New Clean Water Rule Impact Your Business?

On June 29th, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (collectively, the “Agencies”) made waves when they published a new rule—the Clean Water Rule—clarifying and arguably expanding the types...more

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates

With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Coming in the wake...more

WOTUS: No Closure Yet

In psychology, the term “closure” refers to humans’ desire for a firm answer to a question and general aversion to ambiguity. Nine years since Rapanos, after multiple attempts by the EPA and the Army Corps (“the agencies”)...more

EPA, Army Corps Redefine Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers (“the agencies”) have issued the long-awaited final rule to define the scope of waters and wetlands subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act...more

EPA and Corps Final Clean Water Rule’s Potential Impacts on Farming

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published a final rule on May 27, 2015, that purports to clarify the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act...more

Troubled Waters: Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Remains Muddled After New Rule Issued

After years of deliberation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Agencies) issued their long-awaited final rule last week defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) for Clean Water...more

EPA and USACE Issue Clean Water Rule

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ("USACE") released the final Clean Water Rule, which is intended to clarify regulatory confusion over which streams and wetlands...more

EPA’s New Water Rule: Clarification or Power Grab?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Army Corp) just released the final rule providing guidance on which waters are considered “Navigable Waters of the United States” and thus...more

Minimizing Risk Under the Clean Water Act

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act — more commonly known as the Clean Water Act — establishes a stringent regulatory and permitting regime governing the discharge of pollutants into rivers, streams, wetlands, and other...more

D.C. Circuit Validates EPA’s Consultation Process for Reviewing Clean Water Act Permits

On July 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Enhanced Coordination Process,” which was developed with the United...more

The D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge to EPA’s Final Guidance on CWA Coal Mining Permits: EPA Action Has to Be Really, Really, Final...

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit reversed Judge Reggie Walton’s decision from 2012 and affirmed EPA’s authority to adopt the “Enhanced Coordination Process” governing coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers in the processing...more

Federal Appellate Court Stays Initial Date for Meeting New Ballast Water Discharge Limits – But Only for Canadian Shipowners...

On April 9, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted a stay of the January 1, 2014 deadline for installation of ballast water treatment technology required by the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

Draft Regulations Would Dramatically Expand Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have presented a draft of joint regulations under the Clean Water Act to the Office of Management and Budget for an internal governmental review. While the...more

EPA Enters into the 21st Century with New Clean Water Act Reporting Requirements

Clean Water Act Discharge Permits to go Electronic - Since the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements were first adopted by EPA back in 1972, the program has undergone significant...more

Court Allows EPA To Stop Ongoing Projects, Years After Permits Were Granted

In 2007, Mingo Logan Coal Company received a Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discharge dredged or fill material from a mountain top coal mine in West Virginia into three...more

D.C. Appeals Court Says EPA May Revoke Fill Permit After It Has Been Issued

In addressing an important legal issue of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “veto” authority under Section 404(c) of the...more

D.C. Circuit Holds EPA Can Invalidate a Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit After It Is Issued

In a ruling that adds to the complexity of the federal regulatory landscape, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has the authority to...more

Do We Really Have A Section 404 Permit?

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion on April 23 in Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s...more

Supreme Court Willing to Reconsider Deference to Administrative Agencies

Most of the federal government's authority is exercised, on a day-to-day basis, through its administrative agencies. Central to the efficiency of those agencies — such as it is — is the judiciary's substantial deference to...more

Supreme Court Reverses 9th Circuit on Logging Roads, Deferring to EPA on Its Industrial Stormwater Rule

On March 20, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 7-1 decision that Clean Water Act permits are not required for stormwater runoff from logging roads. The decision in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center defers...more

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