Steptoe attorneys have broad experience on Clean Water Act issues, including permitting, litigation, and wetlands decisions. We assist clients in obtaining permits/certifications for new and/or modified facilities or as needed for large infrastructure projects, including section 404 dredge and fill permits; aquifer protection permits; NPDES and storm water permits; and section 401 certifications. Our attorneys also assist clients in responding to potential or existing violations and in responding to EPA or state enforcement actions.
Our attorneys regularly provide advice on complying with section 404, and have represented clients in cases challenging the government’s jurisdiction over wetlands in several cases. Our attorneys have worked extensively with the Corps of Engineers on the impacts to wetlands of energy, rail and pipeline construction projects.
- Representing a paper company on secondary treatment and water quality issues requiring the use of bioassays in order to demonstrate the acceptability of the company’s discharge to rare sturgeon during spawning.
- Representing a major oil/mining company with respect to its surface water discharges to a feeder stream of a Wild and Scenic River and the impact of highly treated discharges to the stream’s food chain.
- Litigating a surface water discharge enforcement action for a major steel company in which the state sought more than $1 million in damages, but was awarded $45,000 instead.
- Negotiating toxic discharge regulations relating to the use of algicides and slimicides by pulp and paper mills in their wastewater treatment process.
- Representing a consortium of businesses with respect to user fees proposed by Milwaukee and litigation brought by Chicago against Milwaukee relating to storm event by-pass discharges into Lake Michigan.
- Representing a major malting company with respect to user fees proposed by the metropolitan sewer district to which it discharged.
Counseling a developer on dredge and fill matters with the Corps of Engineers and litigating against a state agency on whether a wetland was in the “bed” of an adjacent river.
- Rule-making negotiations to establish priority pollutant numeric water quality standards and acute and chronic narrative/biomonitoring analytical methodologies.
- Successful appealing a jurisdictional determination by the US Army Corps of Engineers over wetlands on a site in Alaska.
- Successfully litigating a wetlands determination for a developer in Richmond, Virginia.
- Working with a national trade association on the national NPDES permit applicable to certain pesticide applications.