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Water Blog

  • 22
  • January
  • 2015

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Despite Reluctance in Some Regions, EPA Eager to Use State Revolving Loan Funds for Nonpoint Sources of Water Pollution

Since 1988, only $4.3 billion, or just over 4 percent, of total Clean Water State Revolving Loan Funds (CWSRF) has been used to address nonpoint sources of water pollution, such as stormwater runoff from urban areas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is eager for states and municipalities to take advantage of these funds for such projects. 

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Push for P3s – New EPA Water Finance Center and Municipal Bond Signal Obama Administration’s Push for Public Private Partnerships

On January 16, 2015, the Obama Administration announced the establishment of a Water Finance Center at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use federal grants to work with state and municipal governments, utilities, and the private sector to pump more private capital into projects and promote partnerships that can efficiently address drinking water and aging infrastructure problems.

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  • 23
  • December
  • 2014

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Happy Holidays from the Water Blog Team

The contributors to the Water Blog and all of us at V&E wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year. We will be taking some time away from the blog, but will return in early 2015.

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Whooping Crane Litigation Update – Fifth Circuit Denies Request for Rehearing

On December 15, 2014, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied The Aransas Project’s (TAP) petition for the entire circuit to rehear its failed challenge to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) water management rules, which TAP alleges caused the deaths of a flock of endangered whooping cranes in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in the winter of 2008-2009.1

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  • 09
  • December
  • 2014

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Texas Water Development Board Finalizes Rules for SWIFT Eligibility and Project Prioritization

On November 6, 2014, the Texas Water Development Board (“TWDB”) adopted final rules to govern the prioritization of water projects eligible for low-interest loans through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (“SWIFT”). TWDB is now inviting public water providers to submit an abridged application as the first step to receiving funding through SWIFT.

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  • 21
  • November
  • 2014

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Ninth Circuit Narrows CWA “Shield” for Non-Stormwater Discharges

On October 31, 2014, the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) v. Aurora Energy Services, LLC. The Ninth Circuit decided that case on September 3, 2014, holding that the district court erred when it found that the Multi-Sector General Permit (“MSGP”) for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity “shielded” Aurora from liability for non-stormwater coal discharges.

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  • 08
  • October
  • 2014

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EPA Inspector General Spotlights Hazardous Chemical Management at Sewage Treatment Plants

On Monday, September 29, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) released a report stating that EPA is not taking adequate action to protect water resources from hazardous wastes that pass through sewage treatment plants. The 26-page report summarizes an internal investigation conducted between March 2013 and June 2014. 

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  • 29
  • September
  • 2014

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Oregon Crafting Model State Water Quality Trading Program

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (“ODEQ”) announced its plans on September 23, 2014 to “strengthen and clarify” its water quality trading program and policies to facilitate wider adoption of water trading. This will include creating a regulatory framework by the end of 2015 to supplement the internal guidance currently governing the program.

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  • 26
  • September
  • 2014

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New Studies Show No Link Between Hydraulic Fracturing and Groundwater Contamination

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found no evidence that fracturing shale causes groundwater contamination. A team of researchers from Ohio State University, Duke University, and the University of Rochester analyzed hydrocarbon and noble gas isotopes in groundwater near the Marcellus and Barnett shale formations to trace the source of 133 reported cases of contamination.

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  • 26
  • September
  • 2014

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Industry-Preferred Venue Selected for EPA Cooling Water Rule Suit

As discussed in a post last week, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) May 19, 2014 rule regulating cooling water intake structures faces challenges from both industry and environmental groups. Groups on both sides of the issue filed petitions for review in six different circuits in hopes that the case would land in a venue likely to be receptive to their arguments.

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Contributors

Margaret E. Peloso

Margaret E. Peloso Partner

Theresa Romanosky

Theresa Romanosky Senior Associate

Brandon M. Tuck

Brandon M. Tuck Senior Associate

Ross Woessner

Ross Woessner Associate

Jay Rothrock

Jay Rothrock Senior Associate