Tag Archives: Clean Water Act

Ag Stormwater Runoff Not Regulated by EPA

downloadA Federal District Judge has clarified that agricultural stormwater discharge from certain agricultural businesses is exempt from permitting and regulation under the Federal Clean Water Act.

In a case with ramifications well beyond the Hardy County West Virginia poultry farmer and the Chesapeake Bay, the American Farm Bureau defeated the EPA and several environmental groups.

The court held that agricultural stormwater runoff from the poultry farm that did not qualify as a “confined animal feeding operations” (shortened to “CAFO”) was not subject to regulation.

Historically, the EPA has held that it can regulate medium and small CAFO on a case by case basis (link to EPA document).

The definition of a CAFO, however, includes elements which involve judgment (link to EPA definition).

Click here to go to the story for background.

Federal Jurisdiction to Expand

The Obama administration has just proposed a significant expansion of what is included as the “waters of the United States” over which the Federal government has jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. 

The proposal, based on the position that bodies of water are interconnected, would have an impact on a wide range of entities, governmental and private, dealing with water and development issues.

Links to an overview by Bracewell & Giuliani, a law firm, as well as articles by the Environmental Protection Agency are provided below.

http://www.natlawreview.com/article/administration-to-propose-water-jurisdiction-rule-may-affect-energy-and-infrastructu

http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm

http://blog.epa.gov/epaconnect/2013/09/watersoftheus/

http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/upload/wous_guidance_4-2011.pdf