This just in from Judge Chambers. There was a remaining claim we made in the Individual Permit case that he didn’t rule on in March. He ruled on this issue yesterday and again came out in our favor stating
(1) the stream segments located between the toes of the valley fills and the sediment pond embankments are â€œwaters of the UnitedStatesâ€;
(2) the Corps lacks authority to permit discharge from the valley fills into the stream segments as â€œsecondary impactsâ€; and
(3) the discharge of pollutants into the stream segments below the valley fills is impermissible unless in compliance with CWA Â§ 402 [NPDES]
What this means is that in the Judge’s opinion the way drainage from valley fills is approved violates the CWA — and certainly calls into question the legality of instream structures —– something the Highlands Conservancy has been saying for decades, but agencies (and courts until now) keep ignoring…..