News & Analysis as of

Discharge of Pollutants Permits

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

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

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

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

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

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

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

UK government introduces enhanced enforcement powers for environmental permitting breaches

by Reed Smith on

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

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

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

Do You Need To Permit Your Stormwater Discharge?

by LeClairRyan on

It has been more than 40 years since Congress created the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) in the 1972 Clean Water Act. Yet, confusion remains about which activities and discharges actually require...more

What You Need To Know About EPA’s New Stormwater Permit

by LeClairRyan on

In late September, just before the government shutdown, EPA released its draft “Multi-Sector General Permit” (MSGP) for stormwater discharges from industrial sources. The MSGP is important for two reasons. First, it is the...more

Ninth Circuit’s Fanciful Interpretation of the Clean Water Act Ripe for another Reversal?

by BakerHostetler on

Shortly after admonishing the Ninth Circuit for its strained interpretation of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), the Supreme Court may be asked to repeat itself. On January 8, 2013, in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v....more

More on the Permit Shield Defense: A Permittee Is — Gasp — Entitled to Rely on Regulations and Permits Issued by Delegated State...

Late last month, we noted that a permittee may not rely on the permit shield defense unless it has clearly informed the permitting agency of the nature of its discharge. Now we see the flip side. In Wisconsin Resources...more

EPA Enters into the 21st Century with New Clean Water Act Reporting Requirements

by Reed Smith on

Clean Water Act Discharge Permits to go Electronic - Since the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements were first adopted by EPA back in 1972, the program has undergone significant...more

What Is the Burden In Proving a Violation of a Stormwater Permit? If It Walks Like a Stormwater Discharge …

Those of us who do NPDES work know that enforcement, including citizen enforcement, against industrial point sources can often be all to straightforward. The plaintiff marches into court with a pile of the defendant’s...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Prior Ruling: Pollution Levels In Monitoring Data Are Sufficient To Hold County Liable For Storm Water...

by Perkins Coie on

Urban storm water runoff has been recognized as one of the most significant sources of water pollution in the country. ...more

The Permit Shield Defense: No Shield Absent Full Disclosure

The Clean Water Act permit shield provision provides that compliance with an NPDES permit constitutes compliance with the CWA. What happens the permit does not mention a particular pollutant? In Southern Appalachian...more

Commercial and Residential Developers, Builders and Landlords Face New Storm Water Regulations

by Allen Matkins on

On May 8, 2013, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a new municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit that will have far-reaching impacts on both new development projects and existing facilities...more

The EPA Reaches Back in Time: Appeals Court Allows Government to Veto 404 Permits Issued Years Earlier

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

Both public and private landowners have to obtain Section 404 discharge permits for the discharge of dredged materials from navigable waters. The Army Corps of Engineers is the permitting authority for the Section 404...more

Supreme Court Reverses 9th Circuit on Logging Roads, Deferring to EPA on Its Industrial Stormwater Rule

On March 20, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 7-1 decision that Clean Water Act permits are not required for stormwater runoff from logging roads. The decision in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center defers...more

Supreme Court Confirms EPA’s Interpretation That Logging Roads Do Not Require NPDES Permits

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

In a 7-1 decision overruling the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) long-standing interpretation that stormwater run-off from logging roads are exempt from NPDES...more

Logging Roads Get A Pass – At Least For Now

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

Yesterday, in a 7-1 decision with Justice Scalia the lone dissenter, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a major victory to the forest products industry. As it does so often, the Court reversed a Ninth Circuit ruling that had...more

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