• Mark Ryan

The Courts Have Been Active This Past Week

The courts issued 14 new CWA opinions this past week, which is an extraordinary number of new cases in a week. It'll take me a few days to get through them all. They deal with TMDLs, oil spills, Maui, a stormwater consent decree, attorney fee awards, 60-day notice requirements, 404 permits, Gwaltney, NPDES permits and Lake Tahoe. They run the gamut. Here are a few of the summaries.

Vitiello v. County of Nassau, 2020 WL 5820333 (E.D.N.Y. 2020) (granting motion to dismiss in case discharges from POTW, held that plaintiff failed to comply with 60-day notice requirement where he notified defendants but not EPA)

Alpine County v. South Tahoe PUD, 2020 WL 5702130 (E.D. Cal. 2020) (granting motion to dismiss in case alleging breach of terms of federal grants among other claims arising out of contract to export sewage from the Lake Tahoe drainage, held that general allegations that defendant cannot comply with the CWA without seeking EPA approval to discharge to a 303(d)-listed water body were too vague and did not specify any provisions in the CWA that defendant was violating)

Sierra Club v. EPA, 2020 WL 5642788 (W.D. Wash. 2020) (denying motion to dismiss complaint challenging EPA’s failure to issue PCB TMDL in light of years’ long inaction by the state, held that there was final agency action where there was a consummation of EPA’s decision making process and EPA’s plan for moving forward imposed an obligation on the state to meet discrete milestones in promulgating a PCB TMDL)

Prairie Rivers Network v. Dynegy Midwest Generation, ___ F.3d ___, 2020 WL 5867023 (7th Cir. 2020) (granting motions to file amicus briefs in appeal of dismissal of suit brought against power station for discharges to river via groundwater where appeal focuses primarily on how to interpret Maui; good discussion of how amicus briefs can enlighten the court)

Idaho Conservation League v. Atlanta Gold Corp., 2020 WL 5848339 (D. Idaho 2020) (granting unopposed motion for award of attorney fees of $129,466 and expert witness fees of $8,527 against mining company for NPDES permit violations; reduced the attorney fees by 1.8 hrs owing to vague time sheet entries)

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