Archives: Environmental Regulation & Permitting

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New Construction Stormwater Permit Includes Contentious Liability Provision

On January 19, 2017, the EPA published the 2017 Construction General Permit (CGP) which becomes effective February 16, 2017, replacing the 2012 version. The five-year permit includes all stormwater discharges at construction sites over an acre in size. The permit covers sites in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and several other states where EPA is the permitting … Continue Reading

RI Federal Court Sides With EPA On Stormwater Permitting Requirements

A federal court in Rhode Island recently held for the EPA on the scope of its non-discretionary duties regarding stormwater discharges.  The case arises out of the EPA’s failure to (i) notify certain commercial and industrial polluters that they must obtain stormwater discharge permits and install operational controls, and (ii) provide them with applications for … Continue Reading

EPA Updates Penalty Calculation Guidance for Industrial Stormwater Discharges

On September 8, the EPA published Supplemental Guidance to the 1995 Interim Clean Water Act Settlement Penalty Policy for Violations of the Industrial Stormwater Requirements. This new guidance applies only to stormwater discharges—including violations of EPA- or State-granted NPDES permits and unauthorized discharges associated with industrial activity—and is meant to assist EPA staff in calculating … Continue Reading

Corps Jurisdiction Determinations Reviewable

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 31 in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc.[1] that final decisions by the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) concerning the limits of its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act can be challenged in court. The Clean Water Act (“Act”) regulates the discharge of pollutants … Continue Reading

NYDEC Proposes Revisions to Brownfield Cleanup Program

The New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEC) has published notice regarding the proposed revisions to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) regulations.  The revisions provide a minor revision to the term “affordable housing project” and substantive changes to “underutilized” term, both of which terms are derived from legislative changes in 2015.   These terms are relevant … Continue Reading

Feds Finalize Prohibitions Against Threatened Bat Species – Disputes Continue

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a final rule under Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), taking effect February 16, 2016 and imposing measures intended to protect the northern long-eared bat (NLE bat) under its status as a “threatened species.”  Four environmental groups announced their intention to challenge the rule for … Continue Reading

EPA Launches eDisclosure Portal to Modernize Self-Reporting

Under EPA’s long-standing Audit Policy and Small Business Compliance Policy, companies that discover, disclose, and correct environmental violations may be entitled to penalty mitigation and other benefits. On December 9, 2015, EPA published a Federal Register Notice announcing the launch of EPA’s new eDisclosure system which will modernize voluntary self-disclosures. The eDisclosure system consists of … Continue Reading

Zoning Commission Expertise Due Limited Deference in Eyes of Court

The Connecticut Superior Court recently ruled that the Town of Rocky Hill Planning & Zoning Commission (Commission) exceeded its authority by approving a fill permit application to construct a road at the site of the former Rocky Hill landfill located partially within the Town’s Floodplain Overlay District.  The decision – which culminates a five-year zoning … Continue Reading

Electronic Reporting to be the NPDES Rule

After a lengthy public notice and comment period, the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Electronic Reporting Rule was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015, and will become effective 60 days after publication on December 21, 2015. The Rule requires NPDES-regulated entities to submit their compliance monitoring reports electronically instead of … Continue Reading

Development Update: Maine DEP Proposes Site Development Rule Changes

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a hearing on October 15th to receive comments on three rulemaking changes to the state’s site location of development rules (“Site Laws”).  Additional public comments may be filed before October 26, 2015 (Notice). The Site Law permitting program calls for review of certain development projects that … Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Dials Back CT DEEP’s Authority Over Permit Applications

In a decision that could have broad implications for all companies regulated by the DEEP, the Connecticut Supreme Court recently upheld a permit applicant’s challenge to the Agency’s authority under the Connecticut Water Diversion Policy Act. The ruling in Tilcon Connecticut v. Commission of Environmental Protection, 317 Conn. 628 (July 2015), pushes back on a … Continue Reading

Army Corps Issues Notice for Long Island Sound Dredging Plan

On August 17, 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, released for public review and comment the Draft Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Long Island Sound (LIS). Ten years in the making, the 582-page DMMP and 738-page PEIS (plus supporting technical documents) examine numerous … Continue Reading

Simplifying and Supplementing EPA Settlements with SEPs

What if you could settle a difficult and contentious enforcement action with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by installing a green roof on a children’s hospital? The EPA not only allows for such Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP) as a component of a negotiated resolution, the agency encourages their use. A number of states have parallel … Continue Reading
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