When it comes to property development, parties that engage in earth disturbance activities, including land clearing, excavation and grading, generally need to obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System ("NDPES") permit, typically issued by the state, to lawfully discharge stormwater associated with construction activities at the project site. Several states also require the party engaged in these activities to demonstrate that the stormwater generated at the site following the completion of the project will be the same, with respect to its rate, volume, and water quality, as the stormwater generated from the site prior to the project. Many municipalities are now imposing fees on landowners for the operation and maintenance of municipal storm sewer systems.
Numerous industries are also subject to NPDES stormwater permitting requirements because the nature of their operations may allow pollutants to be carried by stormwater from their facilities into nearby waterways if not properly managed. Federal and state permitting requirements have evolved considerably in their approach to stormwater discharges associated with industrial activities.
Further, many municipalities have their own regulations regarding the discharge of stormwater during and after construction that have been buttressed by federally imposed obligations.
The firm counsels a wide variety of clients on the legal aspects of obtaining NPDES stormwater discharge permits including both general and individual permits, and the appropriateness of stormwater fee regulations. Working with our clients and their civil engineers, we also participate in the conceptual planning and design of development projects by providing legal advice regarding compliance with the applicable stormwater regulations and local ordinances.
Once permits are issued, we continue to counsel clients on permit compliance, addition of co-permittees, and termination of permits. The firm also defends clients against enforcement actions brought by various governmental agencies alleging permit violations.
Representative stormwater matters in which the firm has been involved include the following:
- The firm represented several national builders who received information requests regarding their compliance with NPDES construction stormwater permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") pursuant to Section 308 of the Clean Water Act. We assisted these builders in responding to these requests and negotiated settlement agreements with EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve the allegations brought by the agencies.
- MGKF conducted training programs for clients regarding obtaining and complying with NPDES stormwater permits on a local and nationwide basis.
- We routinely counsel residential and commercial developers regarding the requirements for NPDES construction stormwater permits and the associated application process.
- The firm also frequently counsels industrial clients regarding the applicability of the stormwater permitting program to their operations, including refinery, chemical, waste management, and general industry clients.
- We assisted a developer in obtaining its NPDES stormwater permit for a residential and commercial mixed use development located in southeastern Pennsylvania, where the development encompassed a large section of a stream designated as a "special protection" water by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection because it contained naturally reproducing trout. The local chapter of Trout Unlimited was an active participant in the review and comments on the permit application.
- MGKF assisted the engineers of a public housing project in Philadelphia to obtain local and state stormwater permits. Incorporation of a "green roof" (a vegetated roof that minimizes stormwater discharges generated after completion of the project) in the public housing project for post-construction stormwater management streamlined the permitting process.
- The firm represented a national trade association in commenting upon a draft industry-specific general stormwater permit proposed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that included a rigorous set of numeric effluent limits going far beyond the best management practices included in the existing general permit for the industry.
- The firm represented several major industrial clients in commenting upon proposed changes to Pennsylvania stormwater management regulations.
- We counseled a national homebuilder with its due diligence efforts associated with stormwater liabilities that could arise from its acquisition of a partially completed subdivision that was being sold through the bankruptcy proceedings of another residential developer.
- We represented a major industrial client in defending and successfully settling a significant enforcement action seeking substantial fines and extensive corrective actions to address alleged violations of its stormwater discharge permit.
- A member of the firm is a course planner for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's "Stormwater Regulation" course.
- MGKF’s Spergel and Franey Presented “Building on Contaminated Land” at the 2017 PBI Real Estate InstituteDecember 18, 2017
- October 12, 2017
- March 31, 2017
- April 26, 2016
- February 9, 2016The Requirements and Best Practice You Need to Know
- Rinde Appointed to Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force’s Environmental Protection WorkgroupJuly 13, 2015
- April 30, 2015
- April 30, 2015George W. Nebinger School in Philadelphia and The Douglass School in Wilmington Win $5000 Grants
- November 13, 2014
- November 11, 2014
- MGKF Presented "Practical Considerations for Buying and Selling Contaminated Property" at the DELVACCA Real Estate InstituteNovember 6, 2014
- W&W Realty Co., LLC Awarded $2.7M Grant for Green Stormwater Infrastructure from the Philadelphia Water DepartmentMay 27, 2014
- Brenda Hustis Gotanda Moderates Panel on “Urban Stormwater Management: Philly, Camden and Beyond” at Tri-State Sustainability SymposiumMarch 6, 2014
- MGKF's Jonathan Spergel and Michael Gross Guest Speakers at 2013 PA Brownfields Conference on December 11November 19, 2013“The Real Estate Hibernation Has Ended—What Developers Need to Know About Key Environmental Regulatory Changes in the Post-Recession Economy”
- MGKF Partner Jonathan E. Rinde will present "Current Issues in Stormwater Regulation in Pennsylvania" November 20thNovember 4, 2013
- October 10, 2013
- MGKF Partner Jonathan E. Rinde to Moderate “The Triple P’s of Stormwater: Policy, Planning and Procedures”October 7, 2013
- Jonathan E. Rinde of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP, Addresses Current Issues in Stormwater Regulation on Panel for Lorman Education ServicesDecember 11, 2012
- Jonathan E. Rinde of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP, Addresses Current Issues in Stormwater Regulation on Panel for Lorman Education ServicesJanuary 10, 2012
- Joseph M. Manko, Jonathan E. Rinde, Brenda Hustis Gotanda and Brett Slensky of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP, Spoke at PBI Real Estate InstituteDecember 8, 2011
- Rinde, Cassidy and Gotanda of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP, Presented at Pennsylvania Chamber Fall Environmental Conference SeriesNovember 1, 2011
- Bruce S. Katcher and Jonathan E. Rinde of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP, Presented "Stormwater Regulations & Enforcement in the Real Estate Development Industry: The D.R. Horton Settlement" - Wednesday, September 21, 2011September 22, 2011
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- February 27, 2018
- February 25, 2016The requirements and best practices you need to know
- September 9, 2015CO-HOSTED BY MANKO, GOLD, KATCHER & FOX AND BL COMPANIES
- Act 2 Today and Tomorrow: Current Challenges and Opportunities for the Act 2 Program in the Coming YearsMay 15, 2015PA Brownfields Conference 2015
- September 9, 2014Co-Hosted by Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox and BL Companies
- The Real Estate Hibernation Has Ended--What Developers Need to Know About Key Environmental Regulatory Changes in the Post-Recession EconomyDecember 11, 2013for the 2013 PA Brownfields Conference
- November 20, 2013for Lorman Education Services
- October 25 (Mechanicsburg), November 1 (Pittsburgh) and November 5 (Philadelphia)for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Series
- Bala Golf Club and Opti Announce Partnership with Philadelphia Water Department to Develop Comprehensive Stormwater Management PlanSeptember 19, 2017Cision PR Newswire
- January 14, 2019
- January 14, 2019
- January 14, 2019
- January 14, 2019
- January 18, 2018
- April 25, 2017
- January 25, 2016
- January 25, 2016
- January 13, 2016Significant Rate Changes on the Horizon
- June 23, 2015
- December 18, 2014
- March 13, 2014
- November 11, 2013
- EPA Publishes Proposed Amendment to All Appropriate Inquiry Rule: Significant Environmental Due Diligence Changes on the HorizonAugust 20, 2013
- August 12, 2013
- November 7, 2012
- Proposed Philadelphia Water Department Rate Increase - Significant Changes Proposed for the Stormwater Management Services ProgramMarch 13, 2012
- March 12, 2012
- Changes in Administration and Budget Constraints Expected to Impact Pennsylvania's Environmental Agenda in 2011November 7, 2011
- Cleanup and Protection of Our Nations Waterways Through Regulation and Enforcement will Continue to be a Priority in 2011 - The Specter of SedimentsNovember 7, 2011
- July 14, 2010
- June 24, 2010
- Proposed Amendments to Pennsylvania's Stormwater Management and Erosion and Sediment Control RegulationsJanuary 8, 2010
- January 8, 2010
- January 8, 2010
- December 7, 2017Global, National and Local Challenges and OpportunitiesDecember 2017 issue of EM Magazine
- July 27, 2017The Legal Intelligencer - Environmental & Energy Supplement
- April 24, 2017MGKF Litigation Blog
- January 13, 2017The Legal Intelligencer
- September 11, 2016MGKF Litigation Blog
- March 13, 2015The Legal Intelligencer
- November 11, 2014Co-authored by Jonathan E. Rinde and Michael Dillon
- April 25, 2014Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal
- February 25, 2014Water Online
- January 10, 2014The Legal Intelligencer
- November 8, 2013The Legal Intelligencer
- January 11, 2013The Legal Intelligencer
- January 4, 2011Association of Corporate Counsel's "Green-house Counsel"
- December 16, 2010The Legal Intelligencer