Texas storm water appeal fails

News AASHTO Journal June 18, 2004
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The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up a storm water management case involving small municipalities and construction sites of one to five acres in size, leaving in place a requirement that Environmental Protection Agency pollution-discharge permits be obtained by those affected.

The high court's refusal to review the case leaves standing the earlier ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the case Texas Cities Coalition for Stormwater v. EPA (U.S. No. 03-1125).

The Texas coalition had argued that the EPA's permit requirements were tantamount to making states surrender their sovereignty in violation of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

EPA's rules for permitting stem from a two-phased implementation of provisions in the Clean Water Act. In the first phase, EPA required permits of large municipal discharge sources and large construction sites; the second phase added smaller cities and towns and smaller construction sites.

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