California Environmental Law Attorneys

Clean Water Act Permitting and Litigation

Edgcomb Law Group, LLP attorneys have extensive Clean Water Act experience, including representing clients in high profile litigation and enforcement matters, as well as working with small businesses threatened with citizen suit actions.  We also represent public entity clients in negotiating terms of NPDES permits and challenging disputed permit conditions through the administrative process.  Our attorneys have specialized expertise representing clients in the wastewater collection and treatment system sector against federal and state regulators and non-governmental organizations, and have a strong foundation in the many complex technical issues associated with successful wastewater industry advocacy.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of large municipality in federal court wastewater collection and treatment system litigation brought by federal and state agencies and non-governmental organizations seeking to impose substantial CWA penalties for, among other claims, allegedly operating a wastewater treatment plant without an NPDES permit; allegedly violating effluent limitations for bacteria, pesticides and other parameters; and for allegedly discharging without an NPDES permit.
  • Representation of large municipality in connection with federal, state and citizen suit litigation alleging CWA and California’s Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act claims arising from alleged violations of NPDES and state waste discharge requirements associated with the City’s wastewater collection system. After many years of litigation, which went through expert discovery with a variety of wastewater experts testifying on the City’s behalf, a favorable resolution to all actions was achieved.
  • Representation of non-operating investors in the Macondo oil well against claims for damages asserted by tens of thousands of private parties, and claims for penalties under various statutes, including the Clean Water Act, by federal and state governments, arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident.
  • Representation through trial of large water district in California, which supplies potable water and wastewater treatment services to certain Southern California counties. A key issue in the case was whether an NPDES permit to discharge reclaimed water into surface waters could have been obtained or could be obtained in the future in light of the surface water’s status as a Clean Water Act impaired water body.  After a three-week trial, the court issued a complete defense verdict in favor of ELG’s client. 
  • Representation of public utility in Clean Water Act citizen suit litigation alleging violations of the utility’s NPDES permit, including unpermitted sanitary sewer overflows and violations of monitoring and reporting requirements.
  • Representation of multi-facility recycling company (Bestway Recycling) in connection with 60-day Notice Letters served by Los Angeles Waterkeeper alleging Clean Water Act violations of the NPDES Industrial General Storm Water Permit, including alleged violations of permit conditions and effluent limitations. Negotiated Consent Decree entered.
  • Representation of large municipality in connection with its request for renewal of its variance under CWA section 301(h) from the secondary treatment requirements contained in CWA section 301(b)(1)(B). This multi-year process included extensive legal and technical evaluation of the basis for the EPA Tentative Decision denying the 301(h) Waiver which culminated in an appeal to the Environmental Appeals Board, which was ultimately dismissed pursuant to a Consent Decree.
  • Representation of large municipality in connection with its appeals of certain permit conditions, including effluent limitations, within the final NPDES permits issued for several of the City’s wastewater treatment plants. In the contested case hearing process, the City alleged the NPDES permits were based on significant legal and factual errors which would result in costly and overly burdensome wastewater treatment plant modifications and increased operating costs without any discernible benefit to public health or the environment.

Contact Edgcomb Law Group, LLP for additional information about our Clean Water Act practice.