Tag Archives: Environmental Regulation

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.






Court Strikes Down EPA’s Deferral Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In early July, 2013, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, stuck down the EPA’s Deferral Rule which the Court ruled improperly distinguished between classes of greenhouse gases.  The EPA’s Deferral Rule exempted certain biogenic emissions that result naturally from the decomposition of waste associated with landfills, wastewater, manure management processes, feedstocks and ethanol production from regulation under the Tailoring and Timing Rules.  The Court’s action, therefore, raises the question of how biogenic emissions will be regulated.

Please click here to go the an article by Phillips Lyttle LLP, or copy and paste the link below:



US Senate Hearing on Aging Water Infrastructure

The US Senate Water and Power Subcommittee conducted a hearing to address the aging water resource infrastructure in the US.

The archived video feed of the subcommittee hearing is available at the link below starting at roughly 15 minutes into the recording.

Jul 25 2013

WATER AND POWER SUBCOMMITEE HEARING: To address aging water resource infrastructure in the United States

The purpose of this hearing is to receive testimony on the issues associated with aging water resource infrastructure in the United States.

Permalink: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/7/water-and-power-subcommitee-hearing-aging-water-resource-infrastructure-in-the-united-states

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Property Owners

ScalesThe US Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of property owners to apply well-established rules limiting governmental action in two important situations:

first, when there is no agreement between the property owner and the governmental agency, and
second, where the negotiation involves the property owner expending cash vs. ceding real property.

Many commentators expect this ruling, Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, to have significant ramifications in favor of property owners on the negotiations between property owners and governmental agencies.  To read more, click on this link to take you to “Legal Planet”

CEQA Reform – Latham & Watkins Webinar Replay

Latham webinars are excellent.

While not all readers have a California presence, many do.

Click here to go to the site to sign up.

Here’s the description that you’ll find there.

CEQA Reform: New Proposed Legislation and Potential Effects on California Projects
This 60-minute webcast, presented by Latham & Watkins’ Energy and Infrastructure Project Siting and Defense Practice, addresses the recent developments in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), including:
  • New proposed legislation, including the newly released amended text of Senator Steinberg’s CEQA reform legislation, S.B. 731
  • Recent developments in CEQA cases
  • Recent developments in CEQA and NEPA coordination
  • The impact of these recent developments and proposals on developers and projects


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