"High Court to Weigh Whether EPA Must Define ‘Too Much’ Pollution"

"The US Supreme Court will consider San Francisco’s challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to tell cities not to pollute water bodies “too much” without setting a specific limitation.

San Francisco says its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits for discharges into the Pacific Ocean don’t tell the city what it needs to do to control pollution from sewage overflows. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last July upheld EPA’s authority to issue generic limits, or “general narrative prohibitions,” on discharges under the Clean Water Act.

The city said that if the Supreme Court doesn’t require the EPA to set specific pollution limits, the EPA can enforce NPDES permits without defining what constitutes too much pollution. The high court granted certiorari Tuesday.

The federal government began an enforcement proceeding against San Francisco on May 1 when it sued the city for “repeated and widespread failures” to operate its stormwater system and sewage treatment plants in compliance with the Clean Water Act, leaving the public vulnerable to untreated human waste and sewage exposure on the beach."

Bobby Magill reports for Bloomberg Environment May 28, 2024.


"Strange Bedfellows Align In Latest Supreme Court Water Case" (E&E News)

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 05/29/2024