1 Analyses of this case by attorneys

  1. Clean Water Act Controversy

    Brooks PierceAlexander ElkanFebruary 4, 2019

    The Court held that an indirect discharge to surface water via groundwater is a prohibited point source discharge under the Clean Water Act if the plaintiffs can show “a direct hydrological connection between ground water and navigable waters.” Notably, a subsequent Fourth Circuit case—Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric Power, 903 F.3d 403 (4th Cir. 2018)—effectively limited the holding to measurable discharges, finding that seepage from a coal ash pile was not “discernable, confined, and discrete.” The Ninth Circuit adopted a similar approach as Upstate Forever, while rejecting the “direct hydrological connection” standard, in Hawai’i Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, 886 F.3d 737 (9th Cir. 2018).