Katten’s Water Practice covers all major programs of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Our experience particularly encompasses the Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, including state counterparts, the Section 404 dredge and fill program and the Section 311 spill program. We have considerable experience with traditional NPDES permitting and compliance matters related to wastewater and storm water discharges, and we track and provide strategic guidance to our clients on evolving issues such as ocean acidification, potential post-construction storm water requirements, national consistency in water quality standards implementation and the jurisdictional extent of waters of the United States. Katten attorneys maintain tracking resources on developments in national enforcement initiatives and enforcement developments in important states.
In the CWA permitting context Katten attorneys use their broad experience to assist clients to maximize accuracy, predictability and timeliness in the permitting process. When compliance and enforcement issues do arise, we have the experience to provide our clients with effective representation in federal and state CWA administrative, civil and criminal enforcement actions.
Water availability for new projects and sustainability of water sources at existing facilities has become a significant concern. Katten attorneys assist clients by evaluating the best groundwater and surface water options for a project, identifying any required authorizations to use available water and assessing whether and to what extent the water will be available in drought conditions. These issues vary by state and are particularly important for upstream oil and gas activity and new or expanded industrial or residential activity.
Representative clients include: energy companies, including offshore drilling and production facilities; utilities; petrochemicals and other manufacturing; pipelines and terminals; a food company and one of the nation’s top five homebuilders.
Representative engagements include:
- Evaluating potential regulatory requirements applicable to various wastewater reuse options at industrial facilities.
- Representing many companies facing state enforcement of Safe Drinking Water Act requirements related to provision of potable water to employees of industrial facilities.
- Providing advice and counsel on permitting requirements applicable to stormwater associated with construction and industrial activities.
- Representing a petroleum refinery to amend a NPDES permit authorizing discharge and/or irrigation of refinery wastewater.
- Assisting major oil companies in evaluating compliance with NPDES general permit for discharge from offshore oil and gas facilities.
- Representing a key figure in connection with criminal, civil and congressional investigations into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
- Providing advice and counsel in connection with modifications at industrial facilities to reroute or segregate wastewater discharges to eliminate need for bacteria limitations at final outfalls.
- Representing a host of companies in various industries facing federal and state CWA criminal and civil enforcement actions and CWA Section 308 information requests.
- Evaluating need for spill prevention control and countermeasure plan and/or facility response plans in specific circumstances and locations.
- Representing one of the nation’s largest providers of sustainable water and wastewater management solutions in CWA civil and criminal enforcement proceedings.
- Providing advice and counsel during renewal and/or amendment of wastewater permits issued by delegated states to respond to objections raised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Evaluating available water sources for hydraulic fracturing operations and regulatory requirements applicable to use of various sources.
- Providing counsel in connection with recycle of hydraulic fracturing water.