Circuit Court’s decision on Hydrologic Connectivity Further Muddies the Clean Water Act
Several circuit courts heard cases recently on the question of groundwater and the Clean Water Act. Cases aimed to decide whether entities discharging into groundwater that may enter a “water of the United States” via hydrologic connectivity need a CWA permit to do so.
Up to this point, CWA permits are only required for discharges to a “water of the United States” and groundwater is not currently considered. Several cases were heard and the results were split, adding new uncertainty to the laws.