Three Lessons Regarding Stormwater Liability From Recent Washington Cases

Published Sep 12, 2016
Water Quality, Environmental Enforcement

NPDES permittees can benefit from reviewing three recent decisions by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. As described in this article by Doll Mack Wells PLLC attorney Bradford Doll, courts have shown receptivity to holding a landlord jointly liable for a tenant’s Clean Water Act violations. Landlords (e.g., ports) should revisit assumptions regarding environmental riders and tenant operations. Also, the emphasis in these lawsuits on non-stormwater discharges and unmonitored discharges from piers suggests NPDES permittees operating near surface waters should carefully evaluate facility plans and operations. The defendant in one of these lawsuits paid over $1.1 million dollars in penalties and fees and had to make extensive site modifications in settlement of the action. For more information, contact Bradford Doll at (206) 493-2324 or at