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In re Petition of Assateague Coastal Trust

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20042
Nos. 482915-V, (Md. Cir. Ct., 03/11/2021) (Burrell, J.)

A state court reversed the Maryland Department of the Environment's (MDE's) decision to reissue an NPDES general permit for animal feeding operations without limitations on the discharge of gaseous ammonia. An environmental group argued the permit was deficient under both the CWA and state law because of the lack of effluent limitations restricting concentrated animal feeding operations from discharging ammonia into the Chesapeake Bay. The court found that MDE erred as a matter of law in concluding that gaseous ammonia emissions were not governed by the CWA and state law. It therefore reversed the decision and remanded to MDE to mandate effluent limitations for ammonia and other water quality-based effluent limitations.