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Water Pollution

The Clean Water Act (CWA) not only regulates the discharges of pollutants into the nation’s streams, rivers, lakes and other waterways from industrial facilities and municipal sewer systems but may also impact the development of commercial and residential property. The stormwater permit program of the CWA requires retail, commercial, industrial and residential developers to minimize, collect and treat stormwater runoff from their properties. The controls required by the stormwater permit program can have a significant impact on the size and design of development.

We have had extensive experience helping companies and landowners negotiate CWA permits as well as develop innovative and cost-effective strategies for complying with the requirements of the CWA . In some cases, industrial wastewater discharges may be able to engage in effluent trading where they can buy or sell the right to discharge pollutants in lieu of  installing costly water pollution control equipment.

In addition, under the wetlands permit program, owners of property are prohibited from filling in or destroying wetlands that may exist on property without obtaining a wetlands permit. These permits usually require property owners to mitigate the impact to wetlands and replace any wetlands that may be lost during the project. The approval process of these mitigation projects can be protracted and can impose long-term obligations on developers. Some developers have been able to satisfy their obligation this to create new wetlands destroyed by development projects by purchasing credits from mitigation banks which are either newly created wetlands or existing wetlands that have been restored or enlarged. wetlands create by wetlands banks Developers will be able to purchase these credits prior to construction and thus avoid the delays and costs normally associated with obtaining wetlands permits and approval of individualized mitigation projects.

We can help developers in all phases of wetlands permitting process, including identifying suitable mitigation banks, negotiating the purchase of mitigation bank credits as well as obtaining traditional wetlands permits and approval for on-site wetlands mitigation projects.

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