• New NPDES Permit Does Not Moot Past Violations Under Old Permit
  • January 18, 2017 | Author: Ryan C. McKim
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • In National Resources Defense Council v. County of Los Angeles, 840 F.3d 1098 (9th Cir. 2016), the Ninth Circuit considered whether compliance with a new, relaxed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit under the Clean Water Act moots a request for an injunction against the permit holder based on violations of a prior, more restrictive NPDES permit. There, the plaintiffs sued various governmental entities alleging that they were discharging polluted stormwater in violation of the terms of their NPDES permit. While the litigation was pending, the defendants received a new NPDES permit with substantially the same baseline receiving water limitations but markedly easier protocols for defendants to meet those limitations. Defendants implemented the new protocols and then moved to dismiss the case based on mootness. Defendants argued that because the new permit’s compliance requirements were easier than its past permit’s requirements and because the evidence was undisputed that they were complying with the new requirements, injunctive relief was moot. The trial court agreed with the defendants and dismissed plaintiffs’ case.