Water Enforcement / Clean Water Act

Kean Miller LLP represents local, national and international clients in the defense of water permit enforcement actions by Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.  We have an experienced team with expertise in administrative water enforcement actions, judicial water enforcement actions, water quality standards, permitting, Clean Water Act, defense of citizen group challenges, and criminal water enforcement matters. 

Representative Experience:

  • Representation of a major petroleum company in an administrative water enforcement action in a joint Environmental Protection Agency and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality multimedia action.  A settlement agreement was achieved. 
  • Representation of a major Lake Charles chemical and paint manufacturer in an administrative water enforcement action by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.   
  • Representation of a global chemical company in a judicial water enforcement action by Environmental Protection Agency in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.  A consent agreement was achieved in 2000.
  • Representation of a chemical refiner in a judicial water enforcement action filed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Justice in the United States Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.  A consent agreement was achieved.
  • Representation of a gas pipeline company in judicial water enforcement actions by the Environmental Protection Agency at several facilities. 
  • Representation of two chemical companies and a sewer district in administrative enforcement actions by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.   
  • Representation of the Louisiana Chemical Association, a major petroleum company and a chemical company in proceedings to challenge Total Maximum Daily Loads established by the Environmental Protection Agency for the Calcasieu River Basin in Southwest Louisiana. 
  • Representation of the Louisiana Chemical Association in proceedings to develop state water quality standards and permitting implementation guidance resulting in final guidance accepted by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Representation of a rubber and chemical company in a citizen suit filed by the Sierra Club under the Clean Water Act.  We obtained dismissal of the suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.  In addition, we persuaded the Court to uphold the dismissal on subsequent consolidated appeals of like cases in the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  
  • Representation of a Louisiana municipality in a potential citizen suit by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) under the Clean Water Act for alleged violations of a wastewater permit as reflected in the discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) submitted to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ).  Kean Miller LLP successfully obtained a LDEQ enforcement action to use a potential bar to the citizen suit.  Importantly, Kean Miller LLP convinced LEAN attorneys and Tulane Environmental Law Clinic attorneys that there was no CWA jurisdiction because all violations where “wholly past” violations, thereby avoiding suit by LEAN. 
  • Representation of numerous clients in actions brought by environmental groups under the Clean Water Act based on multiple, sporadic, and past violations of various effluent limitations.   The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana either dismissed the cases or awarded summary judgment to our clients.  On appeal, the Court of Appeals judge, Hon. Edith H. Jones, Circuit Judge, held that multiple, sporadic, and past violations of various effluent limitations could not form basis of citizens' lawsuits.
  • Representation of a major Louisiana port in a Sierra Club challenge to Army Corps of Engineers Dredging Permit issued for dredging an open water channel in Vermillion Bay and the creation of wave barrier island. The Sierra Club was represented by the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic.  The suit was filed in Western District of Louisiana. Kean Miller LLP obtained summary judgment upholding the permit and represented our client in a subsequent appeal to the United States Fifth Circuit. 
  • Assistance in water permitting issues, preparation of comments on permits, and defense of citizen group challenges to permits for numerous industry clients.
  • Successfully obtained classification of Monte Sano Bayou as man-made watercourse and obtained site-specific water quality standard for lindane for joint group of dischargers. 
  • Representation of a fueling company in a criminal water enforcement matter in the Middle District of Louisiana. 
  • Representation of a major fertilizer company in a water enforcement action as local counsel. 
  • Representation and defense of clients in numerous administrative enforcement actions by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.