PACE-Environmental
New York
Members: Lauren Marshall, Victoria Fennessy, Caroline Lavenue
Coaches: Matt Olhausen & Zach Young
Description of Issues:

 Bench memo available here: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1acdbz0W1ZMnLsJ6fHtf8tdxAE8nmNdrP/view?usp=sharing

Description:

Section 301 of the Clean Water Act generally bans discharging pollution into America's waterways. A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit allows certain discharges, as long as the permit holder uses required technologies to reasonably limit pollution.  EnerProg operates a coal-fired power plant along Fossil Creek, located in the fictional State of Progress.  The power plant discharges coal waste into a holding pond ("ash pond"), and over time water from the pond is released into the adjacent Moutard Reservoir. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a NPDES permit to EnerProg to continue operating the ash pond, until it's closure in 2020. EnerProg challenges the permit as overly restrictive, especially in light of recent deragulation at the EPA following Donald Trump's election.  Fossil Creek Watchers, an environmental group, argues that the permit is too lenient and allows excessive pollution.

Issues:

1) Whether the final federal NPDES permit properly included state conditions requiring closure of the coal ash pond.

2) Whether the Trump Administration's April 25, 2017 EPA Notice suspending compliance deadlines for the Obama Administration's 2015 Final Effluent Limitation Guidelines for the Steam Electric Power Generating Industry effectively allows EnerProg to avoid the Obama era requirements to stop discharging coal ash.

3) Whether EPA Region XII could rely on Best Professional Judgment as an alternative ground to require zero discharge by 2020, independent of the 2015 notice.

4) Whether discharges from the factory to the ash pond are correctly exempt from NPDES permitting, in light of EPA's 1980 suspension of a CWA provision that originally required permits for certain waste treatment systems formed by impounding pre-existing "waters of the United States."

5) Whether the eventual ash pond closure and capping also requires a Section 404 "dredge and fill" permit under the CWA. 

 

Scheduling Contact: Matt Olhausen (matthew.olhausen@uchastings.edu)
Document(s): b
DATE AND TIME ROOM JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE
Mon. January 22
7:00PM - 9:00PM MCR Kyle McLean
Tue. January 23
12:00PM - 1:00PM F Holly Locke Laura Anderson Jackie Tkach Catherine Kennedy Tina Nguyen
Thu. January 25
12:00PM - 1:00PM F Brittany
Sat. January 27
10:00AM - 12:00PM MCR Nicole Vales Miranda Rowley Jordan Olson Sierra Luther Zach Garrison
Mon. January 29
7:00PM - 9:00PM E Nolan Nicole Vales SierraLuther
Tue. January 30
7:00PM - 9:00PM MCR Megan Unger Nolan
Thu. February 1
12:00PM - 1:00PM J Kelsey G Schuyler Schwartz Ethan Nocera Alex Sauerwein Kelsey Moe
Sun. February 4
11:00AM - 1:00PM MCR
Mon. February 5
7:00PM - 9:00PM H Paige Adaskaveg Alex Padua
Tue. February 6
3:30PM - 4:30PM MCR Maddy LS Jonathan K
Thu. February 8
12:00PM - 1:00PM MCR Sarah Venit Laura Anderson Michelle Trejo-Saldivar Navleena Sami Keith Zelniker
Sat. February 10
10:00AM - 12:00PM MCR
Sun. February 11
10:00AM - 12:00PM C
12:30PM - 2:00PM C
Mon. February 12
7:00PM - 9:00PM F
Tue. February 13
7:00PM - 8:00PM E Allyssa Rose
Thu. February 15
12:00PM - 1:00PM MCR Sarah Venit Madeline Landry Naomi Maddy LS
Sat. February 17
10:00AM - 12:00PM K
12:30PM - 2:00PM K Francesca Reifer
Mon. February 19
1:00PM - 2:00PM 410 Tower Kevin Costello Naomi