Category Archives: Water Rights

Industry Groups Seek en banc Review of Clean Water Act Ruling

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 »

Sixth Circuit Decides It Can Hear Clean Water Rule Challenges

The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Agencies”) narrowly prevailed in their arguments that jurisdiction to review the Clean Water Rule (“Rule”) lies with the Circuit Court of Appeals and not the District Courts. In a 2-1 decision issued on Monday, the Sixth Circuit ruled that while the plain language of the Clean Water… Read More »

EPA Ordered to Promulgate Hazardous Substance Spill Prevention Regulations

On February 16, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, Natural Resources Defense Council, and other environmental groups, entered into a Consent Decree that requires the EPA to issue proposed regulations “establishing procedures, methods, and equipment and other requirements for equipment to prevent discharges of hazardous-substances… Read More »

Emergency Response Plans – Lessons from PA DEP Enforcement

On January 6, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a news release advising of the settlement of an enforcement action against the largest energy infrastructure company in North America which will result in the payment of a civil penalty totaling $745,000 for violations at two of the company’s facilities near Philadelphia. Notably,… Read More »

Ohio EPA seeks Early Stakeholder Input into Beneficial Use Designations

Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water has announced early stakeholder outreach concerning the Water Quality Standards Rules in OAC Chapter 3745-1. The early stakeholder outreach phase is an opportunity to shape the direction of rules before rule language is drafted.  By sharing comments early in the process, affected parties can help shape the process and… Read More »

Litigation of Groundwater Issues as it Relates to the Clean Water Act

In response to a citizen suit filed under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) by several environmental groups, Duke Energy Carolinas LLC (“Duke Energy”) has filed a motion for certification for interlocutory appeal, asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to decide how the CWA addresses aspects of groundwater pollution.

Sixth Circuit Hears Arguments Over its Jurisdiction to Decide WOTUS Challenge

The United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard oral arguments on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, on the limited question of whether the court has jurisdiction to hear challenges brought by 31 states and others (“States”) to the Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) Rule, promulgated earlier this year by the Environmental… Read More »

USEPA Social Media Campaign in Support of WOTUS Rule Deemed Unlawful

In a letter dated December 14, 2015, from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to Senator James Inhofe, Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, the GAO takes the social media campaign adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in support of its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule to task.… Read More »

Proposal to Eliminate CSO Discharges in the Great Lakes Region Excluded from Final 2016 Spending Package

In October, a proposed provision for the U.S. Senate’s Fiscal Year 2016 (“FY16”) spending package for the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) received national attention, as Section 428 of the proposal sought to amend the Clean Water Act by prohibiting both direct and indirect combined sewer overflow (“CSO”) discharges to the Great Lakes watershed. The National… Read More »

Ohio Proposes Modification to Clean Water Act §401 Water Quality Certification

Ohio EPA proposed a modification to its Clean Water Act (CWA) §401 water quality certifications for Nationwide general permits (NWPs) on November 16, 2015. If finalized as proposed, longer lead times for CWA §404 permitting activities in high quality streams or undesignated streams that flow into high quality streams could result in project delays. Comments… Read More »