Aug 10, 2015

EPA Restricts Permit Shield in New Industrial Stormwater General Permit

In its updated Clean Water Act Multi-Sector General Permit for stormwater discharges from industrial activities issued June 5, EPA has explicitly provided that non-stormwater discharges of any pollutants are not authorized and will either have to be eliminated or covered by a separate individual NPDES permit. Substantial litigation has occurred under the previous version of the industrial stormwater general permit, which did not contain the explicit ban, over whether a permittee is shielded from liability for pollutants not specifically listed in its coverage under the general permit. Under the Fourth Circuit’s landmark decision in Piney Run Preservation Association v. County… Read more

Aug 4, 2014

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Narrows Clean Water Act Permit Shield

Finding that mining industry arguments in the case would “tear a large hole” in the Clean Water Act, a unanimous panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the liability of A&G Coal Corp. for discharges of selenium that were not authorized by its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for its mining activities at a site in Virginia.  Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS), et al. v. A&G Coal Corp. (4th Cir., July 11, 2014).  A&G had argued that the Clean Water Act (CWA) permit shield, under which discharge of a pollutant does not violate the CWA provided… Read more