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Building Indus. Ass'n of San Diego County v. State Water Resources Control Bd.

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20149
Nos. No. D042385, (Cal. App. 4th Dist., 12/07/2004)

A California appellate court upheld a comprehensive municipal storm sewer permit governing 19 local public entities. A building association argued that water quality standards provisions in the permit require strict compliance with state water quality standards beyond what is "practicable" and therefore violate federal law. Regional water boards, however, have the authority to include a permit provision requiring compliance with state water quality standards. Congress intended Clean Water Act §402(p)(3)(B)(iii) to provide regulatory agencies with authority to impose standards stricter than the federal "maximum extent practicable" standard, and this finding is consistent with interpretations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Ninth Circuit. And the association's argument that the standards are impossible to satisfy are neither factually nor legally supported.