Category: Wastewater

EPA Affirms ‘Zero Discharge’ Rule for Unconventional O&G Facilities

After acquiring new information, the EPA has decided not to revise its June 28, 2016, Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Oil and Gas Extraction Point Source Category. That action finalized pretreatment standards for unconventional oil and gas (UOG) facilities based in part on the Agency’s understanding that no such facilities in the country […]

Wastewater treatment

SPCC and Oil/Water Separators (OWSs) at Wastewater Treatment Facilities

The EPA’s SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors (Guidance) notes that the applicability of the Agency’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations (40 CFR Part 112) to oil/water separators (OWSs) depends on the “intended use of the OWS.” One intended use that exempts an OWS from the SPCC program is wastewater treatment. The exemption means […]

CWA Discharge Dispute Headed to Supreme Court

Opposing opinions by three U.S. appeals courts (two issued by the same circuit on the same day) have led to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to address the core Clean Water Act (CWA) question—Is a point source discharging pollutants to navigable water via a groundwater pathway the functional equivalent of a direct discharge […]

Wastewater Tanks

EPA Looking for Input on Potential POTW Diversion Rule

Back in April 2018, ex-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Agency intended to begin rulemaking “to provide certainty surrounding the use of ‘blending’ by wastewater treatment plants.” The EPA has now scheduled three meetings to receive public input on how blending might be permitted to account for infiltration and inflow (I/I) into separate sanitary sewers. […]

Ocean sunset

NPDES Permitting Required for Indirect Discharge, Rules 9th Circuit

The EPA recently published a request for public comment on whether pollutant discharges into groundwater that has a hydrologic connection to waters of the United States (WOTUS) are subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) regulation (February 20, 2018, FR). The CWA contains no cut-and-dried language that clarifies this issue, an absence that over the years […]

Before the Stormwater Tsunami Hits

The next industrial stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) is due in 2020. Even if the current EPA officials manage to put in place its deregulation agenda, this 2020 permit is subject to a settlement that could significantly increase the industrial stormwater permitting reach and associated costs. Here’s what’s going on and what you can do.

A Stormwater Tsunami Possible for Industrial Facilities

Well, you’re just getting used to new obligations under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges associated with industrial facilities. Do you really have to start thinking about the next iteration of the MSGP? The answer is yes—and not just for those currently subject to the federal industrial MSGP […]

Wastewater Infrastructure: The Search for Funding

America’s wastewater treatment infrastructure has logged impressive achievements over the 40-plus years since the Clean Water Act (CWA) was enacted. For example, the EPA reports that between 1968 and 1995, oxygen-depleting pollution discharged from sewage treatment plants nationwide declined by 45 percent despite increased industrial activity and a 35 percent growth in population.