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Clean Water Action v. Pruitt

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20064
Nos. 17-0817, (D.D.C., 04/18/2018) (Friedrich, J.)

A district court dismissed an environmental groups' lawsuit challenging EPA's decision to stay a 2015 CWA rule concerning effluent limitations for steam electric power plants. The rule addressed effluent limitations and standards for six waste streams generated by steam electric power plants: bottom ash transport water, combustion residual leachate, flue gas desulfurization wastewater, flue gas mercury control wastewater, fly ash transport water, and gasification wastewater. EPA issued an indefinite stay in April 2017, but then it withdrew the stay in September 2017 and issued a rule amendment that either adjusted or reinstated the the compliance deadlines for the various waste streams. EPA also announced that it does not plan to conduct a new rulemaking for those waste streams. Accordingly, because the stay was withdrawn, there is nothing for the court to vacate, and a declaratory judgment would be an impermissible advisory opinion.