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Permits Not Needed for Disposal Into Wells, Court Told

July 8, 2016, 4:00 AM

Disposal of pollutants into underground wells does not require a Clean Water Act discharge permit regardless of whether the effluent containing the pollutants reaches the ocean, Maui County, Hawaii, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Haw. Wildlife Fund v. Cnty. of Maui, 9th Cir., 15-17447, brief 7/1/16).

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is required for “discharge of any pollutant,” but the Hawaiian county clarified that “effluent injection into groundwater via a well is not a discharge of pollutants.” Rather, the Clean Water Act refers to such injections as disposals of pollutants ...