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Category: Water Quality

SF Regional Board attempts to clarify vapor intrusion approach

The San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board recently issued a  fact sheet  summarizing changes to its approach to remediating environmental impacts and mitigating vapor intrusion (VI) at properties impacted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  This follows a January 2019  update  to the Board’s vapor intrusion environmental screening levels—which...
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Superior Court Invalidates Hexavalent Chromium Drinking Water Standard

Earlier this month,  Judge Christopher E. Krueger  of the  Sacramento Superior Court  issued an order invalidating the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for  hexavalent chromium . The  California Department of Public Health  (“DPH”) established an MCL of 10 μg/L, or parts per billion (ppb), pursuant to a rulemaking effort that concluded in 2014...
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Shell Pays Big for Double Dipping with the UST Fund

Last week, the  California State Water Resources Control Board  (State Water Board)  announced  that it permanently banned 100 of Shell Oil Company’s underground storage tank (UST) claims from the California  UST Cleanup Fund  (Fund) for allegedly claiming reimbursement through false or misleading statements on its claim forms.  The State...
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U.S. EPA’s Proposed Rule Would Modernize NPDES Regulations

Earlier this month, the United States EPA proposed a rule (“Proposed Rule”) that would update and revise National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) regulations. Rather than reopening the existing NPDES regulations for comprehensive revision, the Proposed Rule would make “specific targeted changes to the existing regulations” that align the...
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State Water Board Approves Composting General Order

Earlier this month, the California State Water Quality Control Board (“State Water Board”)  approved  a General Order for Waste Discharge Requirements (“WDRs”) for composting operations, which will streamline and standardize permitting processes and regulate water quality at new and existing composting facilities.  While the General Order was approved with...
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Guiding Us Through the Waters of the United States: New Guidelines Proposed Clarifying What Waters are Protected by Clean Water Act

On May 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers formally proposed new guidelines for determining which waters and wetlands are “waters of the United States” and are, therefore, protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). According to the notice, jointly published in the Federal Register, the new guidelines will provide clarity...
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Sorry Sixth Circuit – You Just Got Housed: House passes a bill taking pesticides out of CWA’s jurisdiction

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) known as the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (or H.R. 872). The bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) such that CWA permits, known as National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits (or NPDES...
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Can Construction Site Webcams Be Far Behind?

The State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) recently adopted toughened standards for water flows generated by construction sites under a new statewide storm water construction general permit, effective July 1, 2010. The new permit (the “2010 Permit”) replaces the storm water construction general permit in place since 1999 (the “1999 Permit&rdquo...
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EPA Holds Hearings on Hydraulic Fracturing

As part of a broad investigation into the practice of pressurized injection of water, sand, and chemicals to extract natural gas from shale, known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held several public hearings this week in Binghamton, New York. Hydraulic fracturing operates by the...
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EPA Takes Steps Under The Clean Water Act to Protect California’s Coastline

On August 25, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the nation’s largest coastal “No Discharge Zone,” covering California’s entire 1,624 miles of coastline. Pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act, states may request EPA to establish vessel no-discharge zones to protect and restore water quality. Non-sewage discharge from vessels...
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There’s a “Canary” in My Water – EPA Software Detects Hazardous Contaminants in Drinking Water Systems

Bringing to mind the old adage “canary in a coalmine,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week its innovative water quality software aptly named “Canary.” Developed by EPA scientists in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE), the Canary software can help detect chemical and biological contaminants including pesticides, metals...
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What’s Coming Down the River – How EPA’s Designation of the Los Angeles River as a “Navigable Waterway” May Impact Future Development

As reported by the  Los Angeles Times , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the entire 51-mile, concrete lined Los Angeles River a “traditional navigable water,” under the Clean Water Act on Wednesday. Although it may be hard to picture the Los Angeles River as a navigable waterway on par...
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Coastal Senators Seek Increased Liability for Oil Spills

In the wake of the massive Gulf Coast oil spill, three coastal Senators have introduced legislation entitled the “Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act.” The bill was introduced on May 3, 2010 by Senators Robert Menendez (D – NJ), Frank Lautenberg (D – NJ), and Bill Nelson (D – FL). Under the...
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