White Paper

3 Pages
  • 3 Pages

EPA Considers Clarifying Clean Water Act Coverage for Discharges via Groundwater


After 9th Circuit Ruling in Hawaii Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui

There could be changes ahead for Clean Water Act permits. The U.S. EPA has been propelled to take a closer look at its stance on groundwater pollutants. It was recently decided that pollutants that reach waters of the United States through groundwater may bring about Clean Water Act liability. This white paper reviews the Ninth Circuit’s decision and how the EPA has responded.



Keith Garner, AICP

Keith Garner, AICP

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

  • Partner in Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s San Francisco office
  • Practice focuses on land use and environmental laws, including endangered species, wetlands, and water quality issues
  • Represents builders and developers of large residential, commercial, and mixed use facilities and renewable energy projects
  • J.D. degree, University of California, Berkeley; M.U.P. degree, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; B.A. degree, Stanford University
  • Can be contacted at 415-774-2991 or [email protected]
James Rusk

James Rusk

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Jim Rusk is a partner with the Land Use and Natural Resources practice group in Sheppard Mullin's San Francisco office. He specializes in project permitting, compliance and litigation involving endangered species, wetlands and water quality, and related environmental review requirements.

Jim guides landowners and developers through the complex permitting and compliance processes under federal and state natural resources laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the California Fish and Wildlife Code and Porter-Cologne Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. He also represents clients in litigation defending federal and state permits against challenge by project opponents, and in suits challenging arbitrary agency action.

Jim has established strong working relationships with staff at the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Regional Water Quality Control Boards and U.S. Department of Justice.

Jim's areas of expertise also include California water rights, federal Indian law, and the USDA's National Organic Program, and he is a member of Sheppard Mullin’s Food and Beverage Industry Team.

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