Discharge of Pollutants

News & Analysis as of

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

Maine Board of Environmental Protection Unanimously Adopts Metallic Mineral Mining Rules

On January 5th, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (Board) unanimously voted to repeal existing Chapter 200 Metallic Mineral Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Mining rules and adopt new Chapter 200 rules to...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - - Program Requirement Revisions Related to the Public Water System Supervision Programs for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont - EPA is giving notice that...more

Recently Proposed Pollution Notice Rule Struck as Invalid

The Division of Administrative Hearings ("DOAH") recently struck down the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's ("FDEP") proposed Public Notice of Pollution Rule 62-4.161 ("the Rule") in response to a petition...more

DOAH Strikes Proposed Rule Requiring Public Notification of "Reportable Releases"

On December 30, the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) entered a final order invalidating the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) proposed rule expanding notification requirements for every release of any...more

RI Federal Court Sides With EPA On Stormwater Permitting Requirements

A federal court in Rhode Island recently held for the EPA on the scope of its non-discretionary duties regarding stormwater discharges. The case arises out of the EPA’s failure to (i) notify certain commercial and industrial...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

EPA Publishes Proposed Benchmarks for Revised District of Columbia MS4 Permit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on Nov. 17, 2016, a Notice of Intent to Reissue the District of Columbia's municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit. The notice triggers a 45-day public...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

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Issues Major Cercla Decision Finding That Arranger Liability Cannot Be Based On Contamination Deposited On A Site By The Wind - Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, No. 15-35228, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13662 (9th...more

WA Court Denies MSJs in CWA Citizen’s Suit Over Alleged Illegal Discharges of Coal and Coal Dust

A group of environmental organizations, headed by the Sierra Club, filed a Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen’s lawsuit against the BNSF Railway Company, alleging that the railroad, the only transporter of coal in Washington,...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

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Adopts Emergency Rule Imposing New Notice Requirements

In response to the storm-related sewage and sinkhole-related discharges at the Mosaic facility in Mulberry, Florida, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) published two rulemaking notices on September 27, both...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

Significant Changes to Washington State’s Voluntary Cleanup Program

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) recently rolled out significant changes to its Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP). The VCP covers the largest number of cleanup sites in Washington and is a key part of many...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

Ninth Circuit Holds Air Emissions Not Covered by CERCLA

Decision finds operator of a lead and zinc smelter not liable as an “arranger” under CERCLA for aerial deposition of heavy metals. On July 27, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously held...more

New Ninth Circuit Decision Precluding CERCLA Liability for Airborne Emissions

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued in the long-running Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. litigation another important decision further defining the scope of liability under the federal Comprehensive...more

Dentons' methodology approved by American Carbon Registry

In April, the American Carbon Registry (ACR) at the end of April, approved a methodology—designed by lawyers from Dentons' Environment and Natural Resource practice—that incentivizes the use of low global warming potential...more

EPA Raises Statutory Civil Penalty Amounts

If the cost of doing business includes responding to and resolving periodic environmental and worker safety enforcement matters, the price goes up on August 1. The EPA is raising statutory civil penalty amounts for the many...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

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Discharger of Petroleum Not Able to Maintain Suit Against Another Discharger (5/16)

Under Navigation Law § 181, a party injured by the intentional or inadvertent discharge of petroleum products may bring a claim for damages against the party responsible for the discharge. But what if the injured party also...more

Proposed Stormwater Control Regulations Would Increase Burden on Builders, Developers

Developers and builders face potentially more stringent requirements under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recently proposed draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for...more

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