News & Analysis as of

Discharge of Pollutants Clean Water Act

Downstream drama: Iowa utility can’t recover damages from county drainage districts

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

The complex issues affecting agriculture and related industries came into sharp focus recently with an Iowa Supreme Court decision that considered whether one government entity can sue another for damages related to water...more

CWA Citizen Suit Dismissed Where Plaintiffs Failed to Allege “Conveyance of Pollutants Into Navigable Waters

On April 20, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Anderson Division, dismissed the plaintiffs’ Clean Water Act (CWA) Citizen Suit which alleged that the defendant pipeline operators had violated the CWA...more

New circuit split raises questions about ‘permit shield’ defense in Clean Water Act cases

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

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

EPA Publishes Final Rule for Small MS4 General Discharge Permits

by Holland & Knight LLP on

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

Wet Weather Regulations Now More Expensive Under EPA's Industrial Stormwater Settlement Penalty Policy

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

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

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

CWA: EPA Settlement Telegraphs Changes to General Permit Coverage for Facilities with Coal Tar Sealed Pavement

by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. on

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

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

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

by Perkins Coie on

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

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

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

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

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

by PretiFlaherty on

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

by Williams Mullen on

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

Ninth Circuit Holds no NPDES Permit Required for Klamath Straits Drain

by Nossaman LLP on

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

by BakerHostetler on

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

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

by K&L Gates LLP on

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

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

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

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

Court of Appeal Sinks Challenge to TMDL for Lake Bed Sediment

by Perkins Coie on

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

by WilmerHale on

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

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

EPA Draft Ruling Could Mean Significant Changes to How Stormwater Systems are Categorized

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The last thing that public agency leaders want to hear is that looming changes may make operating and building new public infrastructure more challenging and expensive. Unfortunately, proposed changes by the Environmental...more

In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the...

by King & Spalding on

On September 4, 2014, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued findings of fact and conclusions of law for the trial of the MDL of the Gulf Oil Spill, which included findings that the oil spill was the result of BP Exploration...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

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