Wastewater Discharge

Wastewater Discharge Law includes:

  • NPDES/SPDES Wastewater Discharge Permits
  • Pretreatment Permits
  • Stormwater General Permits
  • Administrative Proceedings

Over the years, Young/Sommer LLC has developed an extensive practice helping industrial, commercial and municipal clients obtain and comply with wastewater discharge permits under the National/State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES/SPDES) permit program. The firm also defends clients accused of failing to meet their NPDES/SPDES permitting obligations.

NPDES/SPDES Permits, Including Pretreatment Permits

As part of its NPDES/SPDES practice, the firm regularly:

  • Analyzes wastewater discharge activities to help clients determine what standards are likely to apply.
  • Negotiates new, modified, and renewed SPDES permits on behalf of industrial, commercial and municipal wastewater dischargers. Our attorneys are well versed in both the substantive and procedural aspects of obtaining and implementing NPDES/SPDES permits, as well as cutting-edge issues such as the establishment of effluent limits for difficult to regulate substances such as mercury and PCBs and the regulation of nutrients for purposes of meeting total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements.
  • Works with clients who discharge, or plan to discharge, to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW), helping them obtain any necessary pretreatment permits and comply with general discharge requirements.
  • Represents municipalities in drafting sewer use and sewer rent laws, forming sewer districts, obtaining easements, negotiating orders on consent, and addressing TMDLs and unfunded mandates.
Stormwater Discharge Permits

As attention has shifted from conventional wastewater discharges to stormwater impacts, the firm has developed an extensive practice in the area of stormwater discharge permitting and enforcement. We’ve helped developers, construction companies, municipalities and industries understand and comply with the state’s general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activity. The firm has counseled clients on issues relating to applicability, submission of a notices of intent, preparation of stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs), monitoring and other general permit requirements; as part of this effort, the firm has helped develop SWPPPs and related documents, and has worked with clients to ensure that their erosion and sediment control programs satisfy state and federal requirements. The firm also represents municipalities who are subject to the stormwater general permit for municipal separate stormwater sewer systems (MS4s). In addition, we have helped various clients understand and meet their obligations under the multi-sector general permit for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity.

Administrative Proceedings

Where problems arise, the firm is frequently called upon to resolve disputes involving alleged violations of the NPDES/SPDES permit program. Over the years we have defended various clients in administrative actions involving alleged violations of individual NPDES/SPDES wastewater discharge permits, general stormwater construction permits, and pretreatment permits.