NPDES Clean Water Act

News & Analysis as of

2016 Water Outlook

There are several significant regulatory and legal actions involving water issues that are expected to unfold in 2016. Each has the potential to significantly impact the regulated community and all bear watching in 2016. ...more

Stormwater Permits Are Not One Size Fits All

It’s rare for a stormwater lawsuit to result in a court decision since most settle in the early stages, but a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour in the Western District of Washington provides useful...more

EPA Issues Stringent Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Steam Electric Power Plants

The final rule, touted by EPA as eliminating environmental impacts and cancer risks, substantively changes longstanding regulations regarding steam electric power plants. On September 30, the US Environmental Protection...more

EPA Releases Final Clean Water Act Electronic Reporting Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week finalized its rule to “modernize” Clean Water Act (CWA) regulatory reporting requirements for municipalities, industries, and other facilities....more

EPA's NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule: A Step Toward A Next Generation Compliance Strategy

The final rule strives to take advantage of information technology, allowing resources to be used more efficiently and effectively, and giving the EPA, states and the public better access to key data. Implementation will...more

Pesticide Bill Would Eliminate Duplicative Permitting

In 2009, a federal court ruling required pesticide users to now apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, under the Clean Water Act (CWA), if chemicals were sprayed over, near or into a body...more

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

The Ninth Circuit Holds Transfer of Water in Klamath River Basin Does Not Require Clean Water Act NPDES Permit

On August 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Oregon district court’s ruling that a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is not required for the discharge of water from...more

Eastern District of North Carolina Dismisses Challenge to State Clean Water Permitting Decision

On July 30, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina decided Rose Acre Farms, Inc. v. North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, No. 14-cv-147, 2015 WL 4603950. The...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2015

EPA Seeks Comment On Series 810 Test Guidelines: On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability for comment of several Series 810, non-binding, draft test guidelines developed by...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

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

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

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 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

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

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