Joanna Bowen


The article examines a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision in which the court held that a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued under the Clean Water Act (CWA) shielded an industrial discharger from an enforcement action for discharging pollutants not listed on the permit and that if state law includes a prohibition from discharging pollutants not listed on the permit, it is not enforceable by citizen plaintiffs. The author asserts that the court misinterpreted both the CWA and EPA's policy on the scope of a NPDES permit, and issued an opinion that frustrates Congressional intent behind the CWA. The article examines the NPDES permit application, discusses the history of litigation between the parties and examines the Second Circuit decision.