Environmental Activist Groups Sue Zenith Energy for Construction Stormwater Discharges

In April of 2021, the Willamette Riverkeeper and Columbia Riverkeeper, two environmental activist groups (“NGO”) filed a citizen suit in federal court against Zenith Energy Terminal Holdings, LLC (“Zenith”). The complaint alleges ongoing violations of the federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”) for pollutant discharges into waters of the United States, without a valid National Pollutant […]

Update on CWA Proposed Replacement Rule

Public comments closed earlier this week on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the Army Corps.’ proposed replacement rule designed to clarify which waterways in the country are subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction. While supporters of the new rule urged an even narrower approach, opponents attacked it as an abdication of environmental responsibility. […]

California State Water Board Adopts Controversial Wetlands Rule

Culminating a process that began 11 years ago, the California State Water Resources Control Board last week unanimously adopted a revised policy to protect wetlands in the State. The policy creates a new definition of wetlands peculiar to California, gives a framework to determine a water of the state (nearly everything), and clarifies requirements for […]

Lead Drinking Water Rule Update Coming Soon

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, iterated his beliefs that water quality issues are the most important threats to human health right now, outweighing those posed by climate change. USEPA plans to complete revisions to its Lead and Copper Rule in summer 2019. One goal of the revisions will be to replace […]

Breaking: Supreme Court takes up Clean Water Act Case

The below excerpt from Scotusblog can be found HERE. The Clean Water Act bars the discharge of any pollutant into “navigable waters” without a permit. In its lone grant on today’s order list, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether a violation of the CWA occurs only when a pollutant is released directly into navigable […]

Revised Waters of the U.S. Rule Update

On December 28, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published a revised Waters of the U.S. (“WOTUS”) to clarify the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). The proposed rule is open for a 60-day comment period. The proposed rule is intended to […]

Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss CWA Groundwater Pollution Case

Last Thursday, U.S. District Judge William G. Young denied a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit brought by the Conservation Law Foundation against Wychmere Beach Club alleging that the Cape Code resort polluted waterways. Judge Young stated that the Foundation’s case could hinge on the “hydrologic connection” theory, under which theory the Clean Water Act […]

Federal Funding for Sites Reservoir

The Departments of Interior and Agriculture announced a $449 million grant for the Sites Reservoir Project in Colusa County, California. The Sites Reservoir is a proposed 13-mile lake that would hold nearly 1.8 million acre-feet of water diverted from the Sacramento River. The $449 million grant will fund a pipeline that will connect the Glenn-Colusa […]

Senate Passes Water Infrastructure Act, Sending it to Trump

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 99-1 to pass a water infrastructure and reform bill authorizing dozens of new projects to upgrade drinking water, wastewater, and irrigation systems. (S.B. 2800 (2018) https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2800.) The bill contains many provisions of interest to those involved in the hydropower, dam, or agricultural industries, among others: • Rehabilitation of Army Corps-constructed […]

Circuit Split: Regulatory Reach of Clean Water Act

On September 24, 2018, the 6th Circuit issued rulings in two cases over the question of how direct a connection there must be between the source of pollution and waters that were allegedly polluted for the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) to apply. The 6th Circuit rulings created a split in the circuits on issue of […]

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