At nearly the same time as EPA prepares to issue the MS4 permit addressing stormwater into the Charles River from municipalities, environmental groups announced that they are refiling their lawsuit alleging that EPA has failed to take legally required steps to enforce provisions of the Clean Water Act against commercial, industrial, institutional and high density residential sites discharging to the Charles River watershed.

The original lawsuit by the Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association was withdrawn in August 2015 in pursuit of a negotiated settlement with EPA. Having failed to “find common ground” with EPA according to a joint press release by CLF and CRWA, the groups refiled their lawsuit on February 25, 2016 alleging that EPA was required to notify commercial, industrial, institutional, and high density residential dischargers responsible for stormwater runoff in the Charles River watershed that they must apply for NPDES discharge permits based on the determination contained in the TMDL for the Charles River pursuant to 40 CFR § 124.52(b).

CLF said it also refiled its lawsuit in Rhode Island on the same basis seeking to protect the Mashapaug Pond, Spectacle Pond, Bailey’s Brook, North Easton Pond, and Sakonnet/Cove, and Lawton Brook watersheds.