Category: Environmental Permitting

Menominee River

Tribe Effort to Invalidate Dredge-and-Fill Permit Fails

Attempts by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to invalidate a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 (dredge and fill) permit the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) granted Aquila Resources Inc. for a mining project on a portion of the Menominee River were unsuccessful in both a federal district court and the U.S. Court […]

Montana landscape

The Montana Exceptions and a Hazardous Waste Case

In Montana v. United States (1981), the U.S. Supreme Court found that Indian tribes do not have civil or criminal jurisdiction over nontribal members within a reservation. This opinion has proven to be one of the clearest indications that Indian tribes possess no authority over lands they do not own (called non-Indian fee lands), even […]

EPA Headquarters

EPA Looks to Trim Authority of Environmental Appeals Board

With the goal of expediting resolution of objections to permits issued by the EPA under major environmental statutes, the Agency is proposing amendments to regulations governing its Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). Among the seven proposed revisions, the most significant would strengthen the role of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program. Other parts of the proposal […]

Inspector is taking notes to a notepad in front of a facility.

EHS Enforcement Begins (and Ends) with Your Permits

No one looks forward to the day when the regulatory authority arrives at your facility for an inspection.  Will he or she find issues of noncompliance?  Will an enforcement action or penalty be forthcoming?  But remember, the ultimate goal of the inspector is not to write up a notice of violation but to ensure your […]

Stormwater Stumbles: Costly Citations Persist for Monitoring and Training

During the first half of 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) enforcement record has proven that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite shifting priorities and upheaval regarding the scope of the Agency’s jurisdiction over waters of the United States (WOTUS), the EPA has quietly continued to issue hefty fines […]

USA water map

EPA Looks to Speed Up CWA State Certification Process

The EPA has issued new guidance describing measures and other considerations federal agencies should adopt when fulfilling their roles in the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) Section 401 state certification process, particularly in relation to federal permitting of infrastructure projects. Specific topics addressed in the guidance are timelines for review and action on Section 401 certifications, […]

Water, groundwater

EPA Issues Interpretive Statement on CWA, NPDES, and Groundwater

In a lengthy interpretive statement, the EPA takes the position that a pollutant discharged from a point source, which reaches a water of the United States via a hydrologic connection provided by groundwater, is not subject to permitting under the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Gavel, scales of justice and law books

State Court Jurisdiction Upheld by 7th Circuit in Environmental Case

Two types of jurisdiction were central to a case in which two plaintiff companies deposited hazardous waste generated in Colorado into industrial wells in Illinois. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) found that the injections were conducted without the required Class I permit and brought charges against the companies before the Illinois Pollution Control Board […]