Making Challenges to an Impaired Waters Listing Stick

This article is reprinted with the permission of Law360, where it originally appeared on July 30, 2014, under the title “Arguing Injury Can Prevent Harm From EPA Water Listing.” The listing of a water body as impaired under the Clean … Continue reading

District Court cries “fowl” on EPA attempt to expand CAFO permitting authority

Late last month, in a decision that should come as no surprise to those following the proceedings, the Northern District of West Virginia held that EPA lacked the authority to issue a compliance order under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to an operator of a concentrated … 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

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

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

Seeking clarity: EPA proposes suspension of numeric turbidity limitation for stormwater discharges from construction sites

Late last week, EPA proposed suspending its efforts to impose a numeric limitation on the allowable level of turbidity in stormwater discharges from certain construction sites as part of a settlement with several industry groups who had challenged a 2009 … Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court defers to EPA in ruling stormwater discharges from logging roads exempt from Clean Water Act permitting requirements

Last week, in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, No. 11-338 (U.S., Mar. 20, 2013), the United States Supreme Court held that discharges of channeled stormwater runoff from logging roads are exempt from NPDES permitting requirements under Clean Water Act … Continue reading

District Court nixes the use of nonpollutants as surrogates for pollutants in the development of TMDLs

Earlier this year, a federal district court in Virginia issued an opinion that could present challenges for environmental regulators seeking to address impairment of water resources caused by sediment from stream bank and streambed erosion. In Va. Dep’t of Transp., … 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