New York Stormwater General Permit Complies With Clean Water Act.

In this case, various environmental groups challenged the state of New York's general permit system which allowed smaller communities to develop stormwater-management programs and limit pollution before seeking approval from the state for the allowable discharge of runoff into rivers and streams.  The permit system allowed a general permit to be issued upon the filing of a "notice of intention" to discharge with the Department of Environmental Conservation.  The permit system involved a stormwater management plan that included 44 "mandatory best practices" which could be achieved with flexibility.  The plaintiffs claimed that such a process did not pressure the communities to reduce pollution to the "maximum extent practicable" as they claimed was required.  The court rejected the plaintiffs' argument and wouldn't engage in second-guessing the experience and expertise of the responsible state agencies, and determined it was permissible for the communities to determine for themselves the necessary pollution controls that satisfy federal standards.  In re NRDC, No. 48, 2015 N.Y. LEXIS 934 (N.Y. Ct. App. May 5, 2015).     

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