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Water Blog

TCEQ Developing New Temperature Screening Procedures for Wastewater Discharge Permitting

Last Thursday, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) convened a stakeholder meeting to discuss how it plans to ensure compliance with the temperature criteria in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards through the wastewater discharge permitting process. The updated “implementation procedures” shared by TCEQ at the meeting, when finalized, could result in TCEQ adding permit conditions to existing wastewater discharge permits.

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Executive Order Calls for Rescinding or Revising WOTUS Rule

On February 28, President Trump issued an Executive Order (the “Order”) calling on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) to rescind or revise the controversial Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) rule, which was finalized in June 2015.  Specifically, the Order requires the EPA Administrator and the Assistant Secretary of the USACE to review the WOTUS rule in light of a policy statement set forth in the Order, which states that it is in the national interest to both keep the nation’s water free from pollution, and “promot[e] economic growth, minimiz[e] regulatory uncertainty, and show[] due regard for the roles played by Congress and the States under the Constitution.”

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  • 02
  • November
  • 2016

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California Study Finds Water Used in Fracking is Safe for Agricultural Uses

Officials in the Cawelo Water District (“Cawelo”), a public water agency in Bakersfield, California, recently commissioned an analysis of water quality and food crop data in order to assess the safety of utilizing blended produced water for agricultural irrigation purposes. Cawelo receives approximately 10.4 billion gallons of produced water a year from regional oil producers that thoroughly monitor and treat the produced water before sending it to Cawelo for agricultural use. The produced water is then blended with water from other groundwater and surface water sources and tested before being approved for agricultural use.

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  • 08
  • September
  • 2016

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EPA Acknowledges Missed Deadlines in Perchlorate Regulation

On August 31, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) acknowledged in federal court that it had missed two deadlines for regulating perchlorate in drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”). The agency appeared at the initial case conference in response to a National Resources Defense Council (“NRDC”) lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York in February 2016. The NRDC is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against EPA for failing to meet statutory deadlines for regulating perchlorate.

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  • 16
  • June
  • 2016

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EPA Releases Final Rule Prohibiting Discharge of Unconventional E&P Wastewaters to Public Treatment Facilities

On June 13, EPA released its final rule prohibiting unconventional oil and gas well operators from discharging wastewater to publicly-owned treatment works (“POTWs”). The final rule only applies to unconventional oil and gas well operators; conventional wells and coalbed methane extraction facilities are unaffected. 

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EPA Accused of Deceiving District Court Regarding Blending and Mixing Zone Policies Under CWA

The most recent development in EPA’s struggle with challenges to its ‘blending’ and ‘mixing zones’ policies is interesting, to say the least. On May 2, 2016, in a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuit in the District Court for the District of Columbia, EPA was accused by plaintiff Hall & Associates (H&A) of misleading the court when it submitted a declaration that the plaintiffs characterized as “a complete and utter fabrication.”

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Margaret E. Peloso

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