To the Supreme Court and Back Again: The Los Angeles County Flood Control District Clean Water Act Municipal Stormwater Permit

Published Jan 07, 2014

Tupper Mack Wells attorney Lynne Cohee wrote previously about the Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. decision in an article posted on our website last January.  Her recent follow-up to that story – post remand from the U.S. Supreme Court to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – was published in the December 2013 edition of the Washington Bar Association’s Environmental & Land Use Law Section newsletter.

In this article, Lynne examines how the Ninth Circuit on remand took up and reversed its previous ruling on an alternative issue not considered by the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals focused on the language of the specific National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit at issue and held that uncontroverted evidence of pollution exceedances at downstream mass emissions monitoring stations established the Flood Control District’s liability for permit violations as a matter of law.  The case may end up back in the Supreme Court.  The Flood Control District is considering filing a petition for certiorari; its deadline for doing so is January 24, 2014. To learn more about this case, contact Lynne Cohee at

  • To read Lynne’s article, click here.
  • To view the full article in the ELUL newsletter, click here.