Environmental Law

*** UPDATE *** Chesapeake Bay TMDL

The United States Supreme Court has decided not to hear a challenge by the American Farm Bureau Federation and other entities to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, which is the plan developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to address phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This case has drawn significant […]

United States Supreme Court to Consider Whether to Hear Challenge to Chesapeake Bay TMDL

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to meet in conference on February 26, 2016 to consider whether it will hear a number of cases appealed to the Court. One of the cases reportedly to be discussed at the conference is the much publicized challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. (The case was originally scheduled […]

Pennsylvania Water Regulations to be Amended

In the February 20, 2016 Pennsylvania Bulletin, Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board (“Board”) published a proposed amendment to Chapter 109 of the Pennsylvania Code (relating to safe drinking water), which proposal is intended to “strengthen water system requirements relating to microbial protection and disinfection requirements.” According to the notice, the proposed amendment “will protect public health […]

Update – DEP Water Quality Protocol

In the February 13, 2016 Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) provided its final Assessment and Listing Methodology (“Methodology”) that will be used to assess the quality of the Commonwealth’s waters as required pursuant to Sections 303(d) and 305 (b) of the federal Clean Water Act. The Methodology is a compilation of […]

American Farm Bureau Seeks United States Supreme Court Review of Chesapeake Bay TMDL

In a previous post, I reported on the Third Circuit’s recent decision upholding the Chesapeake Bay TMDL against a challenge by various entities, including the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL is by far the largest and most complex TMDL ever developed in the United States. Published in 2010 by the United States […]

New Law Addresses Personal Care Products’ Effect on Water Quality

Do you use personal care products, such as skin cleaners, that contain plastic microbeads? Well, these products will soon be unavailable for purchase. Although many manufacturers of personal care products containing these microbeads have voluntarily agreed to phase out their use, a new law entitled The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 bans the manufacture of […]

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues Seminal Opinion in Biosolids Litigation

In an earlier post, I provided background on a significant case to both farmers and the wastewater treatment plant community in Pennsylvania – Gilbert v. Synagro – addressing the land application of biosolids under Pennsylvania’s Right to Farm Act (“RTFA”). In this case, over thirty (30) landowners adjacent to a 220-acre farm in York County, […]

Third Circuit Upholds Chesapeake Bay TMDL

On July 6, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (“Third Circuit” or “Court”), in a sixty-page Opinion, upheld a lower court decision rejecting a challenge made by non-point source groups, including agricultural interests, to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (“TMDL”), which was developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) […]

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on the Right to Farm Act

On May 5, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Gilbert v. Synagro Central, LLC, a case involving the scope and application of the term “normal agricultural operation” under Pennsylvania’s Right to Farm Act (“RTFA”). Specifically, the parties argued whether the land application of biosolids is a “normal agricultural operation” as a matter […]

How Broad is the Clean Water Act’s Agricultural Stormwater Exemption?

A recent case from West Virginia, October 23, 2013, raises questions about EPA’s regulation of stormwater from farms. This case involves a West Virginia poultry farmer. The issue in this case is whether a release of manure, dust and particles from the farming operations, which were ultimately carried by stormwater to a local stream, is […]

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