Category: Environmental Permitting

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).

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 […]

Looking Ahead to EPA’s 2020 MSGP

Now that we are about halfway through the 5-year permit cycle for the federal 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity (MSGP), it’s a good idea to turn our attentions toward what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has in store for the 2020 MSGP.

DOI Bureaus Hit with Suit over Fracking Permits

Two environmental groups have filed a suit in a U.S. District Court against the Department of the Interior (DOI) for allegedly failing to comply with federal law regarding the impact of hydraulic fracturing and acidizing being conducted at oil production platforms in California’s Santa Barbara Channel.

Stormwater: Who Is a ‘Qualified’ Person?

In the world of stormwater, certain “qualified” professionals have hefty responsibilities, such as conducting facility inspections, monitoring, and developing and certifying the stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP). But, what does it really mean to be a qualified professional? Often, in National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permits, there is language referring to a qualified […]

EPA Proposes Fixes for GHG Permitting Regs

In its continuing effort to bring its Clean Air Act (CAA) greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations in line with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA (UARG v. EPA), the Agency is proposing several amendments to provisions in its Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. Essentially, the proposal describes specific conditions […]