Category Archives: Stormwater

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Lessons of Hurricane Irma — State of Florida Focus on Hurricane Preparedness and Infrastructure

In response to the widespread impacts of Hurricane Irma in Florida (all coastlines and virtually every community), Speaker Corcoran of the Florida House of Representatives has created a new Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness. Speaker Pro Tempore Jeanette Nunez of Miami will chair the 16-member bipartisan Select Committee whose focus will be to gather … Continue Reading

Hurricanes Harvey & Irma: Controlling Water, Mold, Bacterial Fallout

Six Tips on Managing Water Damage, Mold Growth, and Bacterial Threats As Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and other impacted areas begin the journey to recovery after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, property owners are faced with the challenge of addressing water damage, preventing or remediating mold growth, and heading off bacterial threats from potentially contaminated … Continue Reading

Federal Court Rejects Citizen Suit to Force Stormwater Permitting Program

Last week, a federal district court in Rhode Island dismissed a citizen suit that sought to radically expand Clean Water Act stormwater permitting programs. In Conservation Law Found’n v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Civil Action No. 15-165-ML, the plaintiff attempted to invoke a rarely used provision in the Clean Water to mandate that the U.S. … Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Declines to Require Permits for Stormwater Discharges from Commercial Properties

How to regulate stormwater discharges from impervious areas such as parking lots remains a hotly disputed environmental issue. Most recently, U.S. EPA Region 9 rejected a petition filed by environmental advocacy groups under the federal Clean Water Act calling for regulation of stormwater discharges into the Alamitos Bay/Los Cerritos Channel watershed in Los Angeles County … Continue Reading

Multiple Challenges Filed Against Massachusetts Small MS4 Stormwater General Permit

The long odyssey of the Massachusetts Small MS4 stormwater general permit continues – the latest chapter involving four separate appeals filed in two courts seeking to modify the permit’s terms.  Issued by U.S. EPA New England, the general permit authorizes stormwater discharges from small municipal separate storm sewer systems (“MS4”) located in Massachusetts. While the … Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Settles Public Interest Groups’ Challenge to Industrial Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit

U.S. EPA recently entered into a settlement agreement with public interest groups regarding stormwater permitting requirements that will likely have significant consequences to industrial stormwater dischargers throughout the U.S.  In states not authorized to issue Clean Water Act permits (currently Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Idaho and New Mexico), USEPA retains responsibility for regulating stormwater discharges associated … Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Upholds New York’s General Permitting Scheme for Municipal Stormwater Control

In a rare 4-3 split, the New York Court of Appeals upheld the general permit issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) in 2010 for discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems that serve a population under 100,000 throughout New York State (small Ms4s).  At issue was the claim of the … Continue Reading

Federal Stormwater Regulations – Now A Locally Isolated Event?

As evidenced by two recent announcements, US EPA seems to have concluded that broad regulatory programs may not be the best tool for regulating stormwater impacts.  These decisions rely on a more tailored regulatory and technical approach to controlling pollution impacts from stormwater.  In general, this is welcome news for commercial, industrial and institutional property … Continue Reading

Environmental Groups Appeal Federal Court Order Allowing the State of Florida to Adopt Nutrient Standards For Its Waters — March 6, 2014

In a long-running controversy over nutrient standards for Florida waterways, five environmental groups filed a notice of appeal yesterday in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit challenging the order of U.S. district court Judge Hinkle.  Click here  for a copy of the notice of appeal.  Specifically, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Public Notice of Draft MS4 Permit for New York City

From Steven Russo of GT New York City and Robert Rosenthal of GT Albany. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) has issued public notice of a draft State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“SPDES”) permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (“MS4s”) owned or operated by the City of New … Continue Reading

NY Appellate Court Issues Important Decision for Municipal Stormwater Regulation

By Steve Russo and Adam Silverman Yesterday, the Appellate Division’s Second Department of the Supreme Court of New York issued an important decision relating to municipal stormwater control programs and the use of general permits under the Clean Water Act in Natural Resources Defense Council v. New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Nos. 2012-02913 … Continue Reading

Surprise – USEPA Misses Another Deadline for Issuing Draft Stormwater Regulations

If you have been following this issue closely, it will come as little surprise that USEPA has missed yet another deadline for issuing a draft rule regulating stormwater discharges from developed and redeveloped sites across the country. This proposed stormwater rule is another example of the increasingly criticized “sue and settle” practice employed by citizens … Continue Reading

Stormwater’s Day in the Sun

For those following stormwater regulatory issues, 2013 is proving to be a very interesting year.  Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a regulation exempting stormwater flows from logging roads from permitting under the Clean Water Act.  This is the third federal court decision of the year to address the scope of federal authority to … Continue Reading

Can You Really Go to Jail for Violating a Stormwater Permit?

A recent criminal enforcement case confirms that the answer to this question is “yes.” In what it acknowledged was one of the first such cases in the country, the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) successfully prosecuted a construction contractor for criminal violations of a stormwater construction general permit covering discharges from a commercial development project in Washington. … Continue Reading
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