Category Archives: Water Pollution

Proposal to Eliminate CSO Discharges in the Great Lakes Region

Municipalities, public service districts and other operators of publicly-owned treatment works (“POTWs”) are closely monitoring a controversial and ill conceived provision in U.S. Senate’s Fiscal Year 2016 spending package for the Environmental Protection Agency. Section 428 of the spending package seeks to amend the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) by prohibiting both direct and indirect combined… Read More »

Clean Water Act – Jurisdictional Decisions Are Now in Murky Water

In the wake of the revised definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, the question of jurisdiction has transformed from a boring exercise of intellectual curiosity into an all-out brawl between the United States Circuits.  Before the expected battle over the revised definition itself has even begun in earnest, one… Read More »

Proposal to Revise Aluminum and Selenium Water Quality Criteria

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (“WVDEP”) proposed rule revisions for consideration during the 2016 regular legislative session are now available on the WVDEP website, including long-awaited revisions being proposed to the state’s existing aluminum and selenium water quality criteria. The state’s water quality standards rule, 47 C.S.R., Series 2, is proposed to be… Read More »

Waters of the United States – D.C. Circuit May 15, 2015 Home Builders II Opinion

Persistence is a good trait in the arena of appellate advocacy, but sometimes it is difficult to know when to keep pushing or when to stop.  It may be that a signal was sent in the concurrence written by Senior Circuit Judge Silberman, with whom Senior Circuit Judge Sentelle joined, to keep pushing.  Judge Silberman… Read More »

EPA Proposes Zero Discharge Rule for Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater

On April 7, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed regulations which would create pretreatment standards of performance for existing and new sources of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. EPA is proposing to establish a “zero discharge” effluent limitation which would continue the current industry practice of not discharging wastewater from unconventional… Read More »

Permit Shield Extended to General Permits by Sixth Circuit

In January 2015, the Sixth Circuit held that a defendant’s compliance with the terms of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) general permit would effectively “shield” that defendant from claims filed under the citizen suit enforcement provisions of the Clean Water Act.  Sierra Club v. ICG Hazard. 

ORSANCO Notice of Public Hearing

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission will hold a public hearing on April 14, 2015, in part to solicit comments on changing the prohibition of mixing zones for bioaccumulative chemicals of concern (BCCs), or in the alternative, eliminating it altogether. The hearing will be held at the Holiday Inn Cincinnati Airport, 1717 Airport Exchange… Read More »

WV Senate Sends a Note to WVDEP in Rule Approval

The WV Legislature is working through its review of rules presented to it for approval.  Among the WVDEP rules up for legislative review is that which addressed the water quality standards rule (47 CSR 2).  In the amended rule WVDEP has presented to the Legislative Rulemaking Review Committee is a change that would require application… Read More »

Ohio EPA seeks comments on US Army Corps of Engineers’ Report

Ohio EPA is seeking public comments on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ report entitled “Influence of Open-Lake Placement of Dredged Material on Western Lake Erie Basin Harmful Algal Blooms” and the Corps’ position on open lake disposal of dredge material in Lake Erie. The report, which analyzes the potential contribution of open lake disposal of… Read More »

WV TMDL Litigation Challenging EPA

On January 7, 2015 the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Inc; Sierra Club; West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Inc; and the West Virginia Rivers Coalition filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against U.S. EPA, Region III.  The action challenges six (6) final actions by EPA and seeks to compel EPA to perform non-discretionary duties under… Read More »