E&W Blog

April 8, 2019

EPA Promotes Water Quality Markets to Accelerate Cleanup of Nonpoint Source Pollution

On February 4th at a public event in Dearing, Georgia, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross announced a new policy memorandum (updating EPA’s 2003 policy) that will help states, tribes and stakeholders use market-, incentive- and community-based programs to reduce excess nutrients and improve water […]
April 5, 2019

EPA issues new Audit Policy for Oil and Gas Owners to improve compliance . . .

From EPA Frequently Asked Questions –  IMPLEMENTATION CONSIDERATIONS What has the EPA announced and why is the EPA doing this? The EPA has finalized its Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Production Facilities New Owner Audit Program (Oil and Gas New Owner Audit Program or Program) tailored for new owners of upstream oil and natural […]
February 18, 2019

EPA’s New Proposed WOTUS Rule – the good and bad news . . .

The U.S. EPA and Army Corps issued the long awaited proposed waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on February 14.  84 Fed. Reg. 4154 (Feb. 14, 2019) (“Proposed Rule”).  Settling the WOTUS question is a major priority for this Administration.  The Proposed Rule has sweeping implications and affects all promulgated Clean Water Act (CWA) […]
February 7, 2019

Pittsburgh Water Authority criminally charged for violating Safe Drinking Water Act . . .

The City of Pittsburgh’s Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) is the latest organization to face criminal charges for conduct related to alleged violations of drinking water standards. PWSA has recently been the subject of sharp criticism from the public and key stakeholders about its operations, and the charges from the state’s Attorney General are the latest signal that significant changes […]
December 27, 2018

E&W’s, Lindene Patton, discusses climate change, weather, and attribution science on NPR’s Morning Edition . . .

Earth & Water Law Group’s, Lindene Patton, discusses the link between climate and weather, and attribution science, with Christopher Joyce during NPR’s Morning Edition program. Examining The Link Between Climate And Weather December 27, 20185:00 AM ET , Heard on Morning Edition CHRISTOPHER JOYCE It was this year when scientists ratcheted up their warnings about the effects […]
December 3, 2018

Company pleads guilty to failing to properly supervise Clean Water Act discharge monitoring and reporting . . .

We are likely to see an increase in these types of criminal negligence prosecutions by DOJ/EPA, involving companies who fail to provide sufficient oversight over employees who collect, monitor and report environmental quality reports to the state regulatory agency or to EPA.   The company in the present case admitted to failing to meaningfully supervise the […]
November 28, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Explains: What is Endangered Species Habitat?

This week the U.S. Supreme Court put its finger on the essential problem of the nearly 50 year old Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 – What is endangered species habitat? The question is important.  Unbeknownst to those who do not pour through the Federal Register daily, millions of acres of private lands are designated […]
November 23, 2018

Hyundai settles federal clean air criminal case for $1.9M

The recent sentencing of Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas for Clean Air Act crimes is the latest in EPA and DOJ’s efforts at cracking down on the mobile source market.  This represents another Obama era investigation, but indications are that the Trump administration will continue to make enforcement of violations in the mobile source sector a priority. *** […]
October 19, 2018

Court decision involving EPA temperature TMDL for Columbia and Snake Rivers has implications for climate change, warming waters, and species . . .

On October 18, the District Court for Western District of Washington rejected EPA’s motion for summary judgment arguing that the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. did not require EPA to develop a temperature Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Columbia and lower Snake River.  (court order linked here)  The Columbia […]
October 1, 2018

Trump Administration’s ESA Reforms Are Long Overdue . . .

The proposed rules published by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, “the Services”) on 25 July 2018, if adopted, singly or collectively would be the most significant amendments to the ESA regulations since 1986. These regulatory amendments are long overdue. If adopted, the proposed rules […]