EPA Releases Draft Guidance on Permitting Discharges into Groundwater

On November 27, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published draft guidance on applying the United States Supreme Court decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund.

Specifically, the draft guidance outlines EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act’s Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program for point source discharges that travel through groundwater before reaching a water of the United States.

The guidance will not have the force and effect of law and it will not bind the public in any way, but rather is an attempt by EPA to provide clarity to the public regarding existing CWA requirements.

Comments on the draft guidance are due December 27, 2023.