Tag: Clean Water Act

Wetlands Protections After Sackett Decision

The consequences of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision in Sackett v. EPA are revealing themselves across the nation, as exemplified on both sides of the Wabash River, which runs between Illinois and Indiana. That decision, which redefined “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), stated, “Wetlands that are separate from traditional navigable waters cannot […]

EPA Finalizes CWA Hazardous Substance Facility Response Plan Rule

On March 14, 2024, EPA Administrator Michael Regan signed a final rule requiring certain facilities to develop facility response plans (FRP) for a worst-case discharge of Clean Water Act (CWA) hazardous substances or the threat of such a discharge. Worst-case discharges are defined as the largest foreseeable discharge in adverse weather conditions, including extreme weather […]

EPA sign, Environmental Protection Agency

Court Rules EPA Violated ESA in Granting Florida CWA Permitting Authority

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled that the EPA violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in granting the state of Florida Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permitting authority. The court’s order in the case, Center for Biological Diversity et. al., v. Michael S. Regan et al., vacates the Sunshine […]

San Diego Environmental Groups Move to Stop Cross-Border Sewage Pollution

Two public interest groups have filed a notice of intent (NOI) to sue the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) over alleged Clean Water Act (CWA) violations from Tijuana sewage. In the NOI, the two groups, San Diego Coastkeeper and the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF), document “hundreds of violations … that result in the […]

Improper Stormwater Management Can Lead to Big Problems

On November 9, 2023, the EPA announced SA Recycling LLC of St. Louis, Missouri, will pay $68,000 in civil penalties to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). According to the Agency, the company failed to adequately control stormwater runoff from its scrap metal recycling and processing facility. The EPA says these […]

401 Certification Revisions and New WOTUS Definition Implications

On September 14, 2023, the EPA announced a final rule to restore the fundamental authority granted by Congress under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to states, territories, and tribes to protect water resources. “The Agency’s final Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule (Section 401) will support clear, efficient, and focused water […]

Alaskan Homebuilder Fined $107,000 for Alleged CWA Violations

On August 3, 2023, the EPA announced Robert Yundt Homes, LLC, and Robert Yundt, a homebuilder based in Alaska, were assessed fines of $107,000 for alleged Clean Water Act (CWA) violations as part of a proposed consent decree. “From 2019 through 2021, Robert Yundt Homes, LLC and Mr. Yundt are accused of using heavy earthmoving […]

EPA Proposes First Tribal CWA Protections

The EPA announced proposed federal baseline water quality standards (WQSs) for water bodies on Indian reservations that don’t have Clean Water Act (CWA) standards, ensuring protections for over half a million people living on Indian reservations, as well as critical aquatic ecosystems. Congress’s established goal in passing the CWA 50 years ago was that waters […]

Federal Judge Blocks New WOTUS Rule in 24 States

North Dakota Federal District Court Judge Daniel Hovland granted a preliminary injunction that will block the EPA from enforcing its new waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in 24 states. The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by 24 state attorneys general (AGs). “The group says the EPA’s WOTUS rule ‘goes beyond […]

Clean Water Act Under Fire Again: The Legal Landscape of WOTUS

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States (WOTUS) and regulating quality standards for surface waters.  Under the CWA, the EPA has implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. The EPA has also developed national water quality criteria […]