EPA

EPA released a pre-publication version of its proposal to re-write the Clean Water Act 401 Certification Rule. The proposed re-write comes after the Northern District of California vacated EPA’s 2020 Certification Rule, which the U.S. Supreme Court later reinstated. The proposal also includes conforming amendments to EPA’s certification regulations for the Section 402 NPDES

Today, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court re-instated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2020 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 401 rule (Certification Rule). The Court stayed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which had vacated and remanded the Certification Rule back to EPA without first

EPA’s budget, approved by Congress last week, increases investment in the agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. A joint statement accompanying the budget specifies that $5 million is available for EPA to develop expertise and capacity in the UIC Class VI well program, and these dollars should be used to process

EPA’s Office of Water recently issued guidance on the Implementation of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The memorandum itself is eight pages long and covers a range of issues, including reiterating the inherent flexibility in state revolving fund programs, which allows states to prioritize the use of federal funds based on local water needs. The guidance also encourages agencies to prioritize increasing investment in disadvantaged communities, while using the funding to address emerging contaminants, replace lead lines, and improve the climate resilience of water infrastructure. Additionally, the guidance promotes investment in America’s water workforce — a frequently overlooked priority initiated in the prior administration that is designed to shore up an essential but aging water sector workforce.

Continue reading EPA Issues Guidance for Use of Infrastructure Dollars

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

A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona vacated and remanded the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) (together, “Agencies”) that clarified the scope of federal jurisdictional “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Before the promulgation of the NWPR, there had been several rulemakings and much litigation on this complicated issue, causing nationwide confusion on the application of a uniform standard. In 2015, the Obama administration promulgated a WOTUS rule that had been the subject of significant litigation, which the Trump administration had repealed (the “Repeal Rule”). The NWPR sought to provide certainty as to which waterbodies meet the features of WOTUS by creating clear categories of jurisdictional waterbodies.
Continue reading District Court Vacates Navigable Waters Protection Rule