Federal court upholds state’s right to stop natural gas pipeline under the Clean Water Act

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Federal court upholds state’s right to stop natural gas pipeline under the Clean Water Act

Last Friday the Second Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) and their denial of a § 401 certificate under the U.S. Clean Water Act to Constitution Pipeline (a partnership among Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.; Oklahoma-based energy company Williams Cos.; Piedmont Natural Gas; and WGL). Denying Constitution Pipeline’s application effectively vetoed a $750 million plan for a 124-mile pipeline stretching from the Marcellus shale deposits in Pennsylvania to the Iroquois pipeline in


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USACE Jurisdictional Determination Immediately Reviewable

USACE jurisdictional determination reviewable

In an 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that landowners can challenge U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“USACE”) jurisdictional determinations under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  In United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, the eight-Justice Supreme Court concluded that a jurisdictional determination issued by the USACE under the CWA constitute “final agency action” under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), which means those decisions can be immediately reviewed in court. USACE Jurisdictional Determination Under the CWA Hawkes


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Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load

Total Maximum Daily Load upheld

In December 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.  The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load was established as a “pollution diet” of sorts, which imposed “rigorous accountability measures to initiate sweeping actions to restore clean water in the Chesapeake Bay and the region’s streams, creeks and rivers,” according to the EPA. The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load The EPA has said that “[d]espite extensive restoration efforts and significant pollution reductions during


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Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska

SCOTUS won’t hear 9th Cir. NPDES permit case

In June, 2015, the United States Supreme Court declined to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding in Alaska Comm. Action on Toxics, et al. v. Aurora Energy Services.  The Supreme Court’s denial came after Aurora and the Alaska Railroad Corp. petitioned the Court for review, asking the Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s holding that they said improperly narrowed the Clean Water Act’s (“CWA”) permit shield to allow citizen suits over discharges of pollutants not specified in a


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U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Clean Water Rule Challenges to be heard by Sixth Circuit

Recently we reported on the stay issued by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to the Clean Water Rule.  The Clean Water Rule was challenged by a number of plaintiffs in various federal district courts and circuit courts around the country.  The plaintiffs filed petitions in both the district and circuit courts based upon what they allege is uncertainty about whether the adoption of the Clean Water Rule is within those actions that must be challenged in a U.S. Circuit


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USACE Section 404 Permit

Section 404 violation undisclosed in Favero

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) sets forth a program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States (“WOTUS”), including wetlands.  Section 404 regulates a number of activities in the WOTUS, including fill development, water resource projects (such as dams and levees), infrastructure development (such as highways and airports) and mining projects.  Before dredged or fill material may be discharged into the WOTUS a permit must be obtained, unless the


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WQS

National WQS updated under EPA final rule

In august 2015, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) signed a final rule updating six significant areas of the federal water quality standards, or WQS for short, regulation, which assists the EPA in implementing the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  According to the EPA: The final revisions provide a better-defined pathway for state and authorized tribes to improve water quality, protect high quality waters, increase transparency and enhance opportunities for meaningful public engagement at the state, tribal and local levels.


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Peer review legislation does not comply with Clean Water Act, EPA says

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently sent a letter to Utah’s Division of Water Quality, which noted that the proposed legislation to make the division’s actions subject to an independent peer review did not comply with the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  The letter warned that, if the bill was passed without changes, then the federal government might step in to manage water in the state of Utah. The bill at issue, SB 110, entitled Water Quality Amendments, seeks to establish