On November 20, with no fanfare at all, not even a press release, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its Draft Guidance: Applying the Supreme Court’s County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund Decision in the Clean Water Act Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Program to Discharges Through Groundwater. This draft guidance is the agency’s second effort to guide implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 decision, which extends applicability of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program to include the “functional equivalent” of point source discharges of pollutants to waters of the U.S.Continue reading EPA’s New Proposed Maui Guidance: Underwhelming and Sneaky
The U.S. Supreme Court just issued its long-awaited Sackett decision in which it significantly narrowed the scope of federal jurisdiction over “waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act. Written by Justice Alito (with four other justices joining him), the decision contained three separate concurring opinions, with its operative holding as follows:
- The CWA
After the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota’s April 12 ruling, the majority of the United States can no longer implement or enforce the Biden administration’s definition of waters of the United States (WOTUS). This comes as a major blow to the administration that has repeatedly touted the so-called “durability…
On March 13, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the long-anticipated step of proposing maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs), as well as individual maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), for six PFAS compounds under the Safe Drinking Water Act. PFAS are a large family of synthetic chemicals that have been in use since the 1940s. Many PFAS…
On December 27 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized 41 Nationwide Permits that had been pending since earlier this year. These new permits take effect on February 25, 2022, and will be on the same 5-year renewal cycle as the 16 Nationwide Permits issued at the beginning of the year.
Landowners and permit applicants received an email notification this week that the Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) would not be processing their requests for coverage under a variety of Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 Nationwide Permits (NWPs). NWPs are general permits that authorize activities under Clean Water Act Section 404 that “will cause only minimal adverse environmental effects when performed separately, and will have only minimal cumulative adverse effects on the environment.” CWA Section 404 (e)(1).
Continue reading Army Corps Halts Coverage Under Nationwide Permits
EPA announced yesterday its intent to revise some portions of the 2020 Steam Electric Effluent Limitation Guideline Reconsideration Rule (2020 ELG Rule). EPA’s press release and the pre-publication version of its Federal Register notice sent a clear message that the agency is aiming at membrane technology to control flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater discharges from coal-fired power plants. The notice also states that the agency will reconsider the technology selected for bottom ash transport, and it may revise or eliminate the subcategories created by the 2020 ELG Rule for high-flow facilities, low-utilization facilities, and for facilities that commit to retire or repower coal-fired units by 2028.
Continue reading EPA Signals More Stringent Regulation for Steam Electric Power Generators