• Court Upholds EPA’s Post-Issuance Withdrawal of a Section 404 Permit
  • June 5, 2013
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • On April 23, 2013, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) veto of a discharge permit that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) had issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act to discharge dredged or fill material from a mountaintop coal mine in West Virginia into three streams and their tributaries. The court’s decision creates a measure of uncertainty for any entity seeking a dredge and fill permit. These permits are often required to build schools, roads, commercial centers, residential developments and parks. After this decision, even if the Corps issues a permit for such projects, if EPA later determines that the project will have an “unacceptable adverse effect” on the environment, then the permit may be revoked, thus adversely affecting developers’ and investors’ initial development plans and possibly cause already constructed infrastructure to be moved or stranded.