NPDES

News & Analysis as of

EPA’s 2015 General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Carries New Risks for Industry

In a controversial change, the 2015 version of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) general permit for industrial stormwater discharges (known as the Multi-Sector General Permit, or MSGP) expressly prohibits the...more

Obama Administration Issues Final Rule on “Waters of the United States” - The Rule Will Expand The Universe Of "Waters" Subject To...

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (collectively, the “agencies”) issued a final rule revising the regulatory definition of “Waters of the United...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 42

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 42 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Maryland, Texas, and Wyoming. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick...more

Troubled Waters: Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Remains Muddled After New Rule Issued

After years of deliberation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Agencies) issued their long-awaited final rule last week defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) for Clean Water...more

House Bill Would Block EPA From Vetoing Dredge And Fill Permits Issued By Army Corps Of Engineers, and Other Recent CWA...

House Bill Would Block EPA From Vetoing Dredge And Fill Permits Issued By Army Corps Of Engineers: On March 3, 2015, West Virginia's entire House of Representatives delegation re-introduced a bill that is intended "to stop...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm EPA is reopening the public comment period for its Notice of Availability of the draft small municipal...more

The Sixth Circuit Extends the Clean Water Act’s Permit Shield Defense to General Permit Holders

The Sixth Circuit recently ruled that facilities holding a Clean Water Act (“CWA”) Section 402 general permit – one of two types of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permits – may avail themselves of...more

Clean Water Environmental Issues for 2015

There are a handful of legal and regulatory issues on the horizon in 2015 that are worth watching. Some of these issues, like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Cooling Water Rule and the U.S. Army Corps of...more

EPA Region 1 Extends Deadline for Comments on New MS4 Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems General Permit for...

EPA Region 1 has extended the deadline for the submission of comments to February 21, 2015 in response to the Draft General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts...more

EPA Seeks Additional Comment on NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule, and Other Recent CWA Developments

EPA Seeks Additional Comment On NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule: On December 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested additional comment on the proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Army Corps Drops Regional Permit - The Army Corps has announced that it has abandoned the idea of establishing a regional general permit for the New England states. The proposal would have replaced the individual...more

Aurora Energy Decision Deems Discharges Prohibited, Leaves Open Question of Permit Shield Applicability

On September 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services, LLC, holding that the Clean Water Act General Permit for...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

Leaked EPA Draft Offers Insight into Upcoming Shale Wastewater Regulations

The rapid expansion of shale drilling in recent years has brought with it an increase in the wastewater that is generated during the fracking process. One fracking well can produce over one million gallons of wastewater in a...more

D.C. Circuit Validates EPA’s Consultation Process for Reviewing Clean Water Act Permits

On July 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Enhanced Coordination Process,” which was developed with the United...more

EPA and Army Corps Propose Expansive Regulation Identifying Jurisdictional Waters under the Clean Water Act

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s failure to establish definitive guidelines in a recent case, Rapanos v. U.S.,1 the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a proposed regulation2 redefining the “waters of the...more

EPA Promulgates Final Standards for Cooling Water Intake Structures

On May 19, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a long-delayed final rulemaking regulating cooling water intake structures at existing facilities under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). For more...more

EPA Adopts Fish Protection Standards for Cooling Water Intake Structures

The regulation requires power plants and manufacturing facilities to demonstrate that their cooling water withdrawals minimize fish mortality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued regulations under...more

EPA Unveils Final Cooling Water Intake Structures Rule

On May 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its long-awaited rule under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) imposing requirements for cooling water intake structures (CWIS) at power plants and...more

State Water Board to Adopt Revised Industrial Storm Water Permit on April 1, 2014

The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) recently notified the public that it will consider for adoption the final draft of the general NPDES permit that regulates storm water discharges associated...more

New Permit Requires Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids For Offshore Oil and Gas Operations in Southern California

On January 9, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 9, announced that it will require oil and gas operators engaged in hydraulic fracturing off the southern California coast to disclose any chemicals...more

Do You Need To Permit Your Stormwater Discharge?

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

Low Impact Development’s Supersized Stamp on California Storm Water Regulation

Without much fanfare, low impact development (“LID”) practices have become a dominant trend in federal and California storm water regulation. The California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) and the Regional...more

The Answer, My Friend, Is Not Blowin’ In The Wind: Waste From CAFO Ventilation Fans Does Not Require an NPDES Permit

Earlier this year, in her aptly named post “What the Cluck?”, Patricia Finn Braddock, noted that a state court in North Carolina had held that wastes from poultry farms, blown by ventilators from confinement houses and then...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

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