Discharge of Pollutants

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

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

EPA's Proposed Water Quality Standards Rule Applicable to Maine

On April 20, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed federal water quality standards that would apply to certain waters in Maine in place of existing Maine standards that EPA has disapproved. The proposed...more

EU Consultation on Draft Union Implementation Plan for POPs

The European Commission has launched a consultation on a draft of the 3rd European Union Implementation Plan (UIP) on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The initial European plan, titled the “Community Implementation Plan”...more

Does Your Toxic Release Inventory Make You a Target for Enforcement?

Summary: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General is examining the Agency’s usage of Toxic Release Inventory data to evaluate companies’ compliance with surface water discharge permitting...more

Revised Permits for Small Municipal Stormwater Systems – Coming Soon to Massachusetts; New Hampshire Next in Line, with Maine Not...

Massachusetts - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 1, recently announced that in the next few weeks it will finalize a revised general permit for small municipal stormwater sewer systems (“MS4s”) in...more

Case Law Updates

Clean Water Act - In last month’s edition of Environmental Notes, we discussed the potential impact of two recent federal district court decisions finding that a citizen suit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) could be...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire STATUS OF PREVIOUSLY REPORTED RULES COMPLIANCE DEADLINES   For more information, see our mobile-friendly ENViromation Center, an online tool...more

B.C. Environmental Appeal Board Rejects Precautionary Principle in Favour of “Cautious Approach”

In a recent decision upholding an air permit amendment issued to Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (Rio Tinto) for the expansion of its smelter in Kitimat, the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board (Board) ruled on a number of key...more

EQT’s Lengthy Battle With the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Gets Its Day in State Supreme Court

On November 17, 2015, Pittsburgh-based energy company EQT Production Co. (“EQT”) presented its oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, requesting it set aside a February 20, 2015, ruling of Commonwealth Court...more

Electronic Reporting to be the NPDES Rule

After a lengthy public notice and comment period, the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Electronic Reporting Rule was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015, and will become...more

UK government introduces enhanced enforcement powers for environmental permitting breaches

Earlier this month the government published its response to a consultation on proposals to enhance regulators’ enforcement powers to deal with environmental permitting breaches. Simultaneously, the government has published...more

Can Air Emissions Lead to CERCLA Liability?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and...more

Operating a Well in California May Automatically Put You At Risk for a Prop 65 Lawsuit

California's Proposition 65 is notorious for its duty-to-warn requirement, which states that a business must give a clear and reasonable warning prior to exposing people to certain levels of any listed chemical. The warning...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

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