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City of Healdsburg v. Northern California River Watch


City of Healdsburg v. Northern California River Watch

The U.S. Supreme Court on February 19, 2008 declined to review a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in City of Healdsburg (Healdsburg) v. Northern California River Watch, a case involving CWA jurisdiction over a wastewater treatment percolation pond. The Ninth Circuit ruled in August 2006 that a manmade wastewater percolation pond was a "waters of the United States" for purposes of CWA regulation because the pond contains adjacent wetlands with a "significant nexus" to the Russian River, a navigable "waters of the United States.” Based on this jurisdictional finding, the court held that the City must obtain an NPDES permit to discharge to the percolation pond. This decision was one of the first appellate court opinions to interpret the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 19, 2006 decision in Rapanos et ux., et al. v. United States and Carabell et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers et al. (Rapanos). NACWA, together with the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), filed a brief on behalf of Healdsburg in 2004 before the Ninth Circuit. NACWA’s involvement in this case is now complete.



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