The waiting is the hardest part: Eleventh Circuit rejects novel attempt to circumvent citizen suit notice provision

Frustrated at having their Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suits blocked time and again by a state regulator, a couple of environmental organizations tried to avail themselves of a seldom invoked exception to the CWA citizen suit notice provision.  Without … Continue reading

Septic Saga, Part 2: Pennsylvania enacts Act 41, prompting threat of lawsuit

In a previous blog post, we discussed a policy that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) had proposed to guide its review of sewage facilities planning modules proposing the use of individual and community onlot sewage systems in High … Continue reading

Federal Numeric Nutrient Criteria: A Tragedy in Two Acts

Two separate attempts by two coalitions of environmental groups to prompt EPA to promulgate federal numeric nutrient criteria in two different parts of the country have followed two wildly different courses.  A recent decision by the Eastern District of Louisiana invites a brief … Continue reading

Removing all doubt: District Court interprets the phrase “discharges composed entirely of storm water”

Under the Clean Water Act and its implementing regulations, certain “discharges composed entirely of storm water,” including stormwater discharges associated with specified small construction activities and oil and gas and mining operations, do not require NPDES permits.  In order to qualify … Continue reading

District Court exposes vulnerability in Clean Water Act permit shield

Last week, in Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, et al. v A&G Coal Corp., No 2:12CV00009 (W.D. Va.), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia held that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield does not protect a NPDES … Continue reading

In efforts to curb pollution from agricultural operations, is RCRA the new Clean Water Act?

Agriculture is a major source of pollution for a number of our nation’s impaired waters, including the Chesapeake Bay.  For that reason, government agencies and environmental organizations have targeted agricultural operations as part of their clean water enforcement initiatives.  However, … Continue reading

Third Circuit decision on Rule 68 “offers of judgment” may add a page to the defense bar’s environmental citizen suit playbook

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an opinion that may encourage defendants in environmental citizen suits to make greater use of the “offer of judgment” tool fashioned by Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which … Continue reading

Ninth Circuit touches novel CWA and RCRA claims with a forty-foot pole

Last month, an environmental organization testing the bounds of the reach of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) ran into a brick wall wooden pole when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the … Continue reading

The bombshell Supreme Court opinion that wasn’t

A case that could have had explosive implications both on the question of jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and on the Act’s regulation of stormwater discharges from urbanized areas instead barely registered a fizzle when the United States Supreme … Continue reading