WEF Joins Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court on Los Angeles Stormwater Case

October 26, 2012

Laws & Regs

On Sept. 11, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) joined New York City to file a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision requiring a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The March 2011 appeals court decision held that the flow of water from one portion of a river through an engineered improvement to a downstream portion of the same river constitutes a regulated discharge of pollutants under the Clean Water Act (CWA) requiring the NPDES.

The brief supports the position that such a scenario does not constitute a “discharge” for purposes of the CWA. It asks the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling to avoid consequences for the many public agencies and authorities nationwide involved in water management for water supply, flood control, and related public purposes.

New York City, WEF, the American Water Works Association (Denver), the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.), the American Public Works Association (Kansas City, Mo.), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.), and the New York Conference of Mayors joined together to file the brief.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on Dec. 4.

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