Clean Water Act NPDES

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments Due August 15 on EPA Proposal to Remove Emergency Defense from Title V Operating Permit Regulations

On June 14, 2016, EPA proposed to remove the affirmative defense for emergency conditions from the Title V operating permit program regulations. Comments on this proposed rule are due by August 15, 2016. The Title V...more

Massachusetts Seeks Delegation of Clean Water Act Permitting Program

Massachusetts is known for its comprehensive and innovative environmental laws and regulations. One exception has been the administration of the Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)...more

U.S. EPA’s Proposed Rule Would Modernize NPDES Regulations

Earlier this month, the United States EPA proposed a rule (“Proposed Rule”) that would update and revise National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) regulations. Rather than reopening the existing NPDES...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

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 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

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

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

Food-Processing Sector May Be U.S. EPA’s Next Enforcement Target

Every three years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets national enforcement initiatives to focus its civil and criminal enforcement resources on specific environmental issues. On September 15, 2015,...more

2016 Water Outlook

There are several significant regulatory and legal actions involving water issues that are expected to unfold in 2016. Each has the potential to significantly impact the regulated community and all bear watching in 2016. ...more

2015 U.S. Environmental Federal Regulatory Recap

Listed below are the names of key regulations, acts, and legislation that have been enacted, proposed, updated and passed in 2015 at the federal level. Topics covered include air, chemicals, enforcement, underground storage...more

Stormwater Permits Are Not One Size Fits All

It’s rare for a stormwater lawsuit to result in a court decision since most settle in the early stages, but a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour in the Western District of Washington provides useful...more

EPA Issues Stringent Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Steam Electric Power Plants

The final rule, touted by EPA as eliminating environmental impacts and cancer risks, substantively changes longstanding regulations regarding steam electric power plants. On September 30, the US Environmental Protection...more

EPA Releases Final Clean Water Act Electronic Reporting Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week finalized its rule to “modernize” Clean Water Act (CWA) regulatory reporting requirements for municipalities, industries, and other facilities....more

EPA's NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule: A Step Toward A Next Generation Compliance Strategy

The final rule strives to take advantage of information technology, allowing resources to be used more efficiently and effectively, and giving the EPA, states and the public better access to key data. Implementation will...more

Pesticide Bill Would Eliminate Duplicative Permitting

In 2009, a federal court ruling required pesticide users to now apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, under the Clean Water Act (CWA), if chemicals were sprayed over, near or into a body...more

Ninth Circuit Holds no NPDES Permit Required for Klamath Straits Drain

In ONRC Action v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Bureau of Reclamation was not required to secure a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES")...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

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