National Cotton Council v. EPA and NPDES Permits - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group

October 22, 2009

Charles Tebbutt, Ellen Steen, Douglas T. Nelson

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  National Cotton Council v. EPA and NPDES Permits 10-22-09 - MP3
Running Time: 01:02:06

Since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, any entity that disposes pollutants into navigational waters must first obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  Prior to the 6th Circuit court’s decision in National Cotton Council v. EPA, the EPA released a rule to clarify that certain aquatic application of pesticides would not require a NPDES permit.  The court, however, found that the disposal of pesticides into, over or near water would require an NPDES permit. The court stated that if a pesticide leaves any excess or residual particles behind after completing its intended purpose, it is a pollutant as defined in the Clean Water Act.  Our speakers discuss the merits of the case and the legal and constitutional implications of the court’s decision.


  • Mr. Charles Tebbutt, Western Environmental Law Center
  • Ms. Ellen Steen, Crowell & Moring
  • Moderator: Mr. Doug Nelson, CropLife America

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Related Links

“Protecting Waters and Communities from Pesticides,” Western Environmental Law Center Case Summary including Press Release, 6th Circuit Decision, 9th Circuit’s 2001 decision in Headwaters v. Talent Irrigation District, EPA’s Amicus Brief in Headwaters
Petition for rehearing (PDF)
Attachment 1 to Environmental Petitioners Response to Petition for Rehearing (PDF)
Declaration of Don Parrish, Attachment to Petition for Rehearing (PDF)
Response of Environmental Petitioners to Industry Respondent-Intervenors’ Petition for Panel Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc (PDF)
United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Response to Petition for Rehearing En Banc (PDF)
Final Opening Brief of Environmental Petitioners (PDF)
Final Reply Brief of Environmental Petitioners (PDF)
Final Brief of Intervenor-Respondents (PDF)
Final Brief of Respondent United States Environmental Protection Agency (PDF)