On June 30, 2017, Kathy Beckett, Chair of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Environmental Committee filed a letter with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) invoking the 2016 legislation, S.B. 619. That legislation invited all executive agencies with rule-making authority to review and evaluate all state rules, guidelines, policies and recommendations to… Read More »
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has issued its final Clean Water Act §401 water quality certification (WQC) for Nationwide general permits (NWPs) on April 13, 2017. The WVDEP is required to certify that NWPs do not degrade state water quality through the § 401 WQC. These §401 conditions must be implemented into… Read More »
Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator on February 17, 2017. In advance of his confirmation, President Trump began laying the foundation for policy changes within the environmental programs of the United States as noted in the Executive Orders referenced below. With the national news media providing minute by minute updates,… Read More »
Over ten years after the first coal NPDES permit in West Virginia included a selenium condition, over ten years after the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) first proposed to revise its recommended aquatic life criteria for selenium, after years of litigation challenging permits for including – or not including – selenium effluent limitations, and… Read More »
EPA has finalized its proposed “zero discharge” rule for the oil and gas industry, with a Federal Register Notice published on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 [81 Fed. Reg. 41845]. The rule aims to protect rivers and drinking water supplies from direct discharges by municipal sewage plants of wastewater resulting from unconventional oil and gas (UOG)… Read More »
In the midst of the current economic downturn, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) had proposed significant changes to the agency’s water program rules. Note that changes adopted during the 2016 legislative session for the WQS rule are to become effective on July 8, 2016.
On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals issued the opinion in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc, et al. (No. 15-290). This is a unanimous opinion which is noteworthy since the Court is thought to be of an evenly split philosophy of conservatives and liberals and therefore incapable… Read More »
Following the Sixth Circuit’s splintered 1-1-1 ruling that it has jurisdiction to hear challenges to the Clean Water Rule, the states and related petitioners who opposed jurisdiction in the circuit court of appeals filed a petition for rehearing en banc, meaning by the entire Sixth Circuit. See prior blog post.
On January 6, 2016, in response to a remand by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Environmental Defense Center, et al. v. EPA, 344 F.3d 832 (9th Cir. 2003), EPA proposed (81 Fed Reg 415) revisions to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) rules. EPA notes in the proposal that… Read More »
Nineteen trade associations, including the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, National Mining Association, American Forest & Paper Association, and National Association of Home Builders, have petitioned the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the Clean Water Rule en banc, meaning, with a full panel, as opposed to the three-judge panel that issued… Read More »