Emerging Trends In Clean Water Act NPDES Withdrawal Petitions

Vol. 43 No. 3

Erin A. Flannery works in the Office of Wastewater Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, holds a J.D. from Pace University School of Law, and is a member of the Connecticut Bar. This work is not a product of the U.S. Government or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the author is not doing this work in any governmental capacity. The views expressed are those of the author only and do not necessarily represent those of the United States or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limit discharges to the nation’s water to only those permitted pursuant to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). EPA can delegate to states the authority to administer the NDPES program. See 33 U.S.C. § 1342(b). Although EPA has delegated its NPDES permitting authority to forty-six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, several recent petitions ask EPA to withdraw this delegated authority.

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