• Fourth Circuit Confirms NPDES Permit Compliance Required to Avoid Clean Water Act Liability
  • May 3, 2017 | Author: Christopher G. Foster
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • The Clean Water Act (CWA) forbids all discharges of pollutants into waters of the United States, unless the discharger holds a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. A typical NPDES permit lists numerical limitations on specific types of effluents and includes other conditions required for compliance with state and federal law. The Act requires that effluent limits reflect applicable water quality standards. The water quality standards may be numerical or narrative and may, but need not be, contained in the permit. Under the Act, if a state receives approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) it can administer its own NPDES permitting program. EPA reviews and must approve any substantive changes to a state’s program. West Virginia’s EPA-approved NPDES program includes a separate series of regulations governing NPDES permits for coal mining.