Discharge of Pollutants

News & Analysis as of

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

From Playa Lakes To Prairie Potholes: Four Things Energy Companies Need to Know About the WOTUS Rule

Have one or several playa lakes on or near a well pad in the Permian Basin? An access road nearby an ephemeral tributary of the Green River in the Uintah Basin? A pipeline that traverses lands dotted with prairie potholes in...more

Multinationals in China Should be Aware of Increased Enforcement of Environmental Law, Monitoring Requirements – and Fraud

In the last twelve months the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been remarkably vocal about environmental law, monitoring, and fraud, especially under the new environmental...more

CPP Sets First National Standards Limiting Power Plants' Carbon Pollution

President Obama unveiled the final Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule on Aug. 3, 2015, which sets forth a historic and ambitious regulation for cutting greenhouse-gas pollution. The CPP establishes the first-ever national standards...more

EPA’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL Survives Legal Challenge: Stricter Water Quality Regulation of Farms, Municipalities, Industry, and...

On July 6, 2015, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously rejected a challenge brought by agricultural and builder groups to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay...more

Supreme Court Rejects EPA Mercury Emissions Rule

On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court cast serious doubt upon the future of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (“MATS”) by finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) failed to adequately consider the costs of...more

Who Can Sue Polluters? New Texas Law HB 1794 Stirs Debate

A perspective on new Texas legislation HB 1794 by Gerald Pels one of the leaders of the Texas environmental legal community for over 30 years....more

US Supreme Court Nixes EPA Regulations on Mercury Emissions – Must Consider Costs Early!

In Michigan v. EPA, the U. S. Supreme Court invalidated EPA’s rules limiting emissions of mercury and other pollutants from power plants, ruling that EPA inappropriately ignored the costs of regulation – particularly...more

Supreme Court: EPA Must Consider Cost Of Implementing Regulations

In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the EPA acted unreasonably when it refused to consider the cost of implementing its Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). The MATS rule, issued in 2012,...more

New Rule Clarifies Federal Government Authority to Regulate Certain Bodies of Water

The final Waters of the United States rule, jointly proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last spring, was signed on May 26, 2015, and aims to clarify the federal...more

Ninth Circuit Adheres to Narrow Interpretation of “Local Single Event” Exception Under CAFA

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a suit brought against Boeing and its environmental remediation contractor over alleged groundwater contamination that occurred over the course of 40 years...more

Lipsky Revisited – Details and Debate

Lipsky was not Range’s lessor, therefor I know nothing about the case. Surely, this person lives in my house, where I enjoy a long history of knowing nothing about anything. (Memo to self: check progress on subpoena for kids’...more

Court of Appeal Sinks Challenge to TMDL for Lake Bed Sediment

A Court of Appeal has upheld the Regional Board’s adoption of the total maximum daily load (TMDL) for concentration of pollutants in the sediment in McGrath Lake, rejecting the claim that TMDLs may not be stated in terms of...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

The Stormwater Mess Continues in Massachusetts: CLF and CRWA Sue EPA

In February, we noted that the Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association had threatened to sue EPA for failing to require that “commercial, industrial, institutional, and high density residential...more

Environment Agency changes regulatory approach to existing onshore oil and gas facilities

Earlier this month, the Environment Agency (EA) published a new regulatory position statement on the environmental permitting of existing onshore oil and gas facilities (including shale gas facilities)....more

Storm Water Update

We recently informed our clients that there has been an apparent uptick in recent months of citizens suits against storm water permittees for alleged storm water violations under the Clean Water Act. According to a recent...more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Michigan v. EPA, a Clean Air Act case involving hazardous air pollutant regulations, with implications for fossil fuel-fired power plant owners and operators in...more

EU Court limits the scope of environmental liability for new owners of polluted land

The Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) has shed light on the application of the “polluter pays” principle in the context of the EU’s Environmental Liability Directive. The judgment, handed down on 4 March...more

General Permit Shields Mining Company from Liability for Selenium Discharge

In Sierra Club v ICG Hazard , LLC, 2015 WL 643382, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a Kentucky coal mining company could not be sued by an environmental group for discharging selenium into...more

Beware of Citizen Suits for Storm Water Violations

In recent months several private organizations have sent letters to California businesses informing them that they are in violation of their storm water permits and threatening to sue them under the citizen suit provision of...more

A Federal Court Rules that Increased Conductivity Impairs a Stream — How Shocking!

On Tuesday, Chief Judge Robert Chambers ruled that Fola Coal Company violated the Clean Water Act by discharging mine waste with sufficiently high levels of conductivity to cause or materially contribute to impairment of...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Well Contamination Resulting from the Application of Manure and...

In Wilson Mutual Ins. Co. v. Robert Falk and Jane Falk, 2013AP691 & 2013AP776, and Preisler v. Kuettel’s Septic Serv., 2012AP2521, the Wisconsin Supreme Court sought to resolve conflicting court of appeals’ decisions on...more

NJ Spill Act Contribution Rights in Jeopardy Under Proposed Bill: Points to Consider - M&E Environment & Energy Alert

A bill (A-3880/S-444) recently introduced in both houses of the New Jersey legislature would prevent companies and private individuals from exercising their existing contribution rights under New Jersey’s Spill Act to recover...more

Kentucky Federal Court Holds Tort Claims Not Preempted by Clean Air Act

State common law tort claims based on air emissions from a power plant are not preempted by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The court agreed to...more

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