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Water

CORPS PERMIT SUIT COULD LIMIT REVIEW OF RULES' SMALL BUSINESS IMPACTS

A pending appellate suit over modified U.S. Army Corps of Engineers clean water permits could limit EPA and other federal agencies' consideration of their regulations' impacts on small businesses, according to legal briefs in the case.

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Lawmaker Plan To Resolve Water Pollution 'Blending' Dispute Raises Doubts

Legislation introduced in the House that seeks to bar EPA from allowing sewer operators to "blend" treated and untreated wastewater may not achieve its goals, wastewater treatment officials say, because the bill bans a similar yet distinct process that is already forbidden under the Clean Water Act. The bill was introduced in the final days of the 108th Congress but is expected to be introduced again next year when lawmakers reconvene.

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TRANSPORTATION BILL FOCUS COULD DELAY ACTION ON WATER FINANCING BILL

Congress' focus on passing a surface transportation bill in the early part of the 109th Congress will likely delay efforts to pass water infrastructure funding legislation in the upcoming year, water industry consultants and congressional sources say.

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INDUSTRY: HOUSE BILL TO STOP EPA BLENDING GUIDE MAY HAVE LIMITED EFFECT

House legislation that seeks to bar EPA from allowing publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) to "blend" treated and untreated wastewater may not achieve its goals, wastewater treatment officials say, because the bill bans a similar yet distinct process that is already forbidden under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The bill was introduced in the final days of the 108th Congress but is expected to be introduced again next year.

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EPA CHALLENGES APPELLATE RULING OVERTURNING REMINING RULE

EPA is challenging an appellate ruling that required the agency to develop new Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations for water discharged from so-called remining operations on the grounds that the recent decision conflicts with Supreme Court and other rulings in the same appellate circuit.

Remining refers to additional mining that occurs at abandoned mines or previously mined sites.

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UTILITIES SAY EPA SAMPLING PLAN COULD UP DRINKING WATER VIOLATIONS

Water utilities are raising concerns that a recent EPA guidance clarifying the water sampling requirements under the agency's lead and copper rule (LCR) could put more systems out of compliance with the rule.

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NEW DATA PROMPT POTWS TO CONSIDER REVISING STUDY ON DENTAL MERCURY

Wastewater treatment industry representatives may call on a key industry group to revise the design of its study on the effectiveness of devices that trap mercury from dental fillings in light of preliminary data that show the devices are not reducing mercury in wastewater effluent, industry sources say.

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CONTROVERSIAL CENTRAL VALLEY CAFO PERMIT PLAN PUT ON HOLD

After a heated meeting last week, a controversial dairy discharge permit was held over by the Central Valley regional water board for further staff review. Dairy farmers had complained the cost of compliance was too high -- and some environmentalists agree. The permit is scheduled to return for board consideration in spring 2005.

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RULING SEEN AS BLOW TO MULTIPLE STORMWATER PERMIT CHALLENGES

A decision this week by a state appellate court to deny a building industry challenge to a novel San Diego stormwater permit will likely hurt pending municipality and industry lawsuits against water board permits, according to environmental attorneys. The ruling finds that stormwater permits can require dischargers to meet water quality standards for certain pollutants, rather than merely requiring dischargers to clean up to the "maximum extent practicable," which is a federal standard.

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EPA Court Appeal Defends Regulation To Limit Water Pollution From Mines

EPA is challenging an appellate ruling that requires the agency to develop new Clean Water Act regulations for pollution discharges from so-called remining operations, arguing that the recent decision conflicts with Supreme Court and other rulings by the same appellate circuit.

Remining refers to operations initiated at formerly abandoned sites. EPA in its request for a rehearing is siding with industry in citing a past court ruling against environmentalists.

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