Category: Environmental Permitting

Water, groundwater

Supreme Court Says Permits Required for Groundwater Discharges

By a tally of 6 to 3, the U.S. Supreme Court found that under certain circumstances, a discharge of pollution from a point source that travels in groundwater before entering a navigable water subjects the discharger to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

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 […]