Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Los Angeles County Found Liable for Violating Stormwater Permit

On Aug. 8, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Los Angeles County Flood District is liable for violating its municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit. Its monitoring station data allegedly documented discharges of pollutants higher than those established in the permit. However, the county argued that the monitoring data was not [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules On Property Rights Case

On June 25, in a 5–4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Florida Supreme Court ruling in favor of Orange County (Fla.) landowner Coy Koontz, ending an 18-year legal battle. In news headlines, the case has been called a property rights victory, an environmental disaster, and a factor of uncertainty among permitting agencies. Part [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Logging Road Permits

Clean Water Act permits will not be required on logging roads, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 20 in Decker v. Northwestern Environmental Defense Center. Instead, best management practices, regulated at the state level, will continue to be the method of managing erosion and sediment on logging roads. The case began when the Northwest [...]

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Flood Control District

On Jan. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled to overturn a Ninth Circuit Court decision. The Supreme Court supported Los Angeles County’s view that water flowing between natural and channelized sections is simply a transfer of the same water and should not be seen as a permitted discharge. “Under the Clean Water Act, does [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court May Refuse Logging Road Stormwater Case in Light of U.S. EPA Rule

On Dec. 3, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an Oregon logging road pollution case that has been litigated since 2006. The court agreed to review the 9th Circuit Court’s decision to consider stormwater runoff channeled from logging roads as a point source requiring a Clean Water Act permit.  However, the U.S. Environmental [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Controversial Case on Stormwater

On Dec. 4, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case — L.A. County Flood Control District vs. National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) — focusing on stormwater discharges in the Los Angeles area. During oral arguments, all parties in the case agreed that the transfer of water through concrete-lined sections of the Los Angeles and San [...]

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WEF Joins Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court on Los Angeles Stormwater Case

A March 2011 appeals court decision held that the flow of water from one portion of a river through an engineered improvement into a downstream portion of the same river constitutes a regulated discharge of pollutants under the Clean Water Act (CWA). By this ruling, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit would be required. [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court To Review Stormwater Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court will review two stormwater cases from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The first is the 9th Circuit Court’s decision to consider stormwater runoff channeled from logging roads as a point source, requiring a Clean Water Act permit. This overturns 30 years of regulatory status quo, as the U.S. Environmental [...]

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U.S. EPA Will Not Require Stormwater Permits for Logging Roads

In the May 23 Federal Register, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice that logging roads will not require Clean Water Act permits. EPA plans to release a rule maintaining the precedent that best management practices are more practical than issuing permits for millions of miles of forest roads. This issue arose due [...]

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Cases on Federal Payment of Stormwater Fees Could Lead to a Federal Court Split

The 2011 Clean Water Act (CWA) Amendment allows municipalities to leverage reasonable stormwater fees on federal facilities. In USA v. Cities of Renton and Vancouver, a Washington State District Court recently ruled that federal facilities are responsible for municipal stormwater fees billed prior to enactment of the 2011 amendment. This decision could create a split [...]

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