Clean Water Act

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Development activities frequently trigger complex legal issues associated with environmental planning, wetlands areas, and storm water control. Crowell & Moring's water quality practice encompasses administrative and judicial enforcement proceedings, citizen suits, legislative efforts, participation in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemakings, and judicial challenges to these and other rules. Our practitioners are adept at negotiating National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for operations involving mining, livestock, hazardous waste, steel, and other industries in permit proceedings, as well as defending those permits in subsequent appeals. We advise numerous clients on storm water permitting and wetlands matters, including jurisdictional questions and issues concerning nationwide and individual "dredge and fill" permits under Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404.

Our lawyers provide formal and informal agency advocacy related to major EPA regulations and policies. Examples include impaired waters/Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) regulations, general permit requirements for industrial storm water discharges, and NPDES regulations regarding concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and pesticide application. We have also advocated favorable EPA and Army Corps of Engineers policies, as well as provided U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefings on the scope of CWA jurisdiction over "navigable waters" and the exemption from dredge and fill permitting for farming, silviculture, and ranching activities.

We litigate against and in defense of EPA regulations such as the Phase II storm water regulations, NPDES rules regarding CAFOs and pesticide application, and general permitting for construction-related storm water discharges. We also defend against administrative and judicial enforcement actions and citizen suits alleging unpermitted discharges or permit violations. Successful outcomes include defending a major municipal wastewater treatment facility operator in a CWA criminal enforcement action, resulting in a deferred prosecution agreement that preserved the company’s government contracting ability. While representing the National Association of Home Builders in litigation brought by environmentalists challenging EPA's general permit for storm water discharges, we successfully moved for dismissal of those claims.

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"President Biden To Sign New Inflation Reduction Act," (August 15, 2022). Contacts: Byron R. Brown, Rebecca Baden Chaney, Stephanie L. Crawford, James G. Flood, Eric Homsi, Irina Pisareva, Mary-Caitlin Ray, Tim Shadyac, Siyi Shen, Hillary C. Webb, Scott L. Winkelman
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Differing Approaches to Climate Policies in the UK and US," Environment & Natural Resources Law Alert (August 9, 2022). Contacts: Elizabeth B. Dawson, Robin Baillie
Client Alert/Newsletter
Chambers USA 2022 Ranks 70 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 37 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S. (June 1, 2022)
Firm News/Announcement
"SEC Proposes Rules Governing ESG Investment Disclosures," Corporate Alert (May 26, 2022). Contacts: Elizabeth B. Dawson, Byron R. Brown, Michael D. Mann, William J. Bruno, Jeff Severson
Client Alert/Newsletter
“The CERCLA Rollercoaster – How New Contaminants, New Standards/Values, and New Perspectives May Reopen & Unsettle Groundwater, Sediment, Vapor Intrusion, and Every Other Kind of Superfund Site: Part 2," American Bar Association, Chicago, IL. (May 16, 2022). Speaker: Kirsten L. Nathanson
Speech/Presentation
"U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Poised to Execute “Comprehensive Environmental Justice Enforcement Strategy”," Environment & Natural Resources Law Alert (May 6, 2022). Contacts: Paul Freeman, Felicia L. Isaac
Client Alert/Newsletter
"One-Year Review: Advancing Environmental Justice," Crowell & Moring Webinar 2022. (May 5, 2022). Speakers: Byron R. Brown, Monty Cooper, Eryn Howington, Felicia L. Isaac
Speech/Presentation
"SEC Charges Vale with Securities Law Violations after Brumadinho Dam Collapse," White Collar Alert (April 28, 2022). Contacts: Elizabeth B. Dawson, Michael D. Mann, Thomas A. Hanusik, Jeff Severson
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Small Changes to NEPA Rules Expected to Have Major Impacts on Federal Environmental Reviews of Infrastructure Projects," Environment & Natural Resources Law Alert (April 20, 2022). Contacts: Byron R. Brown, Kirsten L. Nathanson, Paul Freeman, Elizabeth B. Dawson
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Addressing Environmental Compliance and Investigation Issues––Looking at Ethics from the Outside Counsel, In-House Company, Government, and ENGO Lawyer Perspective,” American Bar Association, San Francisco, CA. (April 8, 2022). Speaker: Kirsten L. Nathanson
Speech/Presentation

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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