NPDES

News & Analysis as of

Fourth Circuit Upends NPDES Permit Shield

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently upheld a lower court’s determination that a West Virginia mining company was not shielded from liability by its NPDES permit. The mining company’s permit...more

Environmental Notes - February 2017

President Trump has wasted no time in acting on his environmental agenda. On January 24, his second working day in office, the President signed two Executive Orders giving the green light to construction of the Keystone and...more

Discharge Permits Not Required to Transfer Water: Court Upholds EPA Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently issued a long-awaited ruling confirming the legality of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) Water Transfers Rule in Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout...more

Second Circuit Upholds Water Transfers Rule

On January 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the lower court and held that EPA’s 2008 promulgation of the “Water Transfers Rule” (Rule) published in the Federal Register at 73 FR 33697 on June 13,...more

Second Circuit Upholds EPA’s Water Transfers Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Transfers Rule last week. Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited, et al. v. EPA, et al. 14-1823, 14-1909,...more

The Conservative Case For Chevron Deference

With GOP control of Congress and the White House, conservatives appear to have Chevron deference in their crosshairs. Put simply, I don’t get it. There are at least two good reasons why conservatives should prefer Chevron...more

Stop the Presses: NPDES Permitees Must Comply With Their Permits

Earlier this month, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that NPDES permit holders must comply with all of the terms of their permits. I’m not sure why this should be earthshattering news, but the case does have some...more

Early January Environmental Odds And Ends

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new.” January 2017 has been a very active month, with several important environmental and federal administrative court rulings being issued, and many significant rules being proposed...more

Fourth Circuit: CWA Permit Shield Requires Compliance with Incorporated Quality Standards

A recent Fourth Circuit decision will have wastewater dischargers taking a closer look at their NPDES permits and state water quality standards. The court of appeals held, in Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal...more

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

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

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - - Program Requirement Revisions Related to the Public Water System Supervision Programs for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont - EPA is giving notice that...more

U.S. EPA Chooses Flexible Approach to Stormwater General Permit for Small Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a final rule revising the regulations governing how small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) obtain coverage under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination...more

RI Federal Court Sides With EPA On Stormwater Permitting Requirements

A federal court in Rhode Island recently held for the EPA on the scope of its non-discretionary duties regarding stormwater discharges. The case arises out of the EPA’s failure to (i) notify certain commercial and industrial...more

EPA Publishes Final Rule for Small MS4 General Discharge Permits

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

Did Trump’s Election Increase the Odds of NPDES Delegation in Massachusetts? I Sure Hope So.

As I noted last spring, the Baker administration had filed legislation to support NPDES delegation to Massachusetts. At the time, I supported the delegation effort and pleaded with my friends in the environmental community...more

California Must Pick Up Stormwater Check

Local public agencies realized an important victory in a more-than-decade-long, who-should-foot-the-stormwater-bill battle — a battle focused on a permit issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to the...more

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

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

Impacts of the 2016 U.S. Election on Environmental Law, Policy, and Enforcement

The 2016 election results will have wide-ranging impacts on the future direction of environmental law, policy, and enforcement in the U.S. With 100 lawyers in offices around the U.S. focused on environmental and natural...more

South Carolina DHEC Reissues the Industrial Storm Water General Permit

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recently reissued its NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities (IGP). The IGP regulates discharge of storm...more

EPA Issues Final 2016 NPDES Pesticide General Permit

On November 1, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit for Point Source Discharges from the Application of...more

Railcars as Point Sources

According to an October 25, 2016 ruling by the District Court for the Western District of Washington, a railcar carrying coal may be a “point source” for pollution under the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. §§ 1251 et seq.,...more

Massachusetts Environmental and Land Use Alert

Off to Court We Go: Petitioners Challenge EPA’s Small MS4 General Permit for Massachusetts - The storm of debate and criticism over the terms and conditions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) General...more

EPA Updates Penalty Calculation Guidance for Industrial Stormwater Discharges

On September 8, the EPA published Supplemental Guidance to the 1995 Interim Clean Water Act Settlement Penalty Policy for Violations of the Industrial Stormwater Requirements. This new guidance applies only to stormwater...more

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

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

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