DC Court Strictly Interprets TMDL


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DC Court Strictly Interprets TMDL

The Nickel Report posted on August 22 that a recent decision by the District of Columbia (DC) District Court curtails the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) discretion to approve total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for impaired waterbodies and sets a precedent that may lead to more stringent National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits.

In a strongly worded decision, the DC District Court found that Congress intended EPA to set TMDLs that are actual maximum daily values, rather than constructs of averaged data [Anacostia Riverkeeper v. Wheeler, Slip Op. No. 16-cv-1651 (D.D.C. Aug. 12, 2019)]. The Nickel Report anticipates as a result, we can expect to see more stringent TMDLs and, eventually, more stringent permits derived in light of those TMDLs.

The Nickel Report is an online review of trends and developments in environmental and energy law published by Hunton Andrews Kurth, an NCMA Business Partner.


The Nickel Report - Ratcheting Down on Agency Discretion: Total Maximum Daily Loads
By Elizabeth E, Aldridge • August 22, 2019
Hunton Andrews Kurth

US District Court for the District of Columbia Memorandum Opinion
16-cv-1651 (D.D.C. Aug. 12, 2019)