Water Quality

Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell’s work in the realm of water quality involves comprehensive analysis of the various levels of federal, state, and local regulation, including the Clean Water Act and state statutes and local ordinances implementing delegated authority.  We counsel clients on all sides of water quality issues including permitting, regulatory compliance, and litigation involving the defense of permits and challenges to water quality violations. We have also advised clients on federal and state water quality standards, water quality sampling and monitoring, and water quality remediation technology.

In particular, we have extensive experience in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting, stormwater permitting, 401 Certifications, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL), Clean Water Act Section 319 grants, non-point source issues, and Clean Water Act Section 404 permits.  We also participate in matters related to minimum instream flow requirements before various administrative agencies, legislatures, and state and federal courts.

Representative Cases

  • In re Appeal of Northglenn Site Application No. 4806, Colorado Water Quality Control Commission (Feb. 16, 2016) (Represented City of Northglenn in successfully defending wastewater treatment permit state administrative appeal proceeding).
  • Altamaha Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Rayonier, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42849 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 31, 2015) (Brought Clean Water Act citizen suit against international pulp company for violations of pollutant discharge permit.)
  • Turner v. Ga. River Network, 297 Ga. 306 (2015) (Represented environmental groups in precedential case regarding buffer protection for waters under Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act.)
  • Atlantic Richfield Company v. State of California, et al., Case No. BC380474 (2010), Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles (Represented multiple state agencies in complex state environmental litigation concerning remediation of the Leviathan Mine Superfund Site, an inactive Sulphur mine discharging acid mine drainage into surface waters; after prevailing on key motions, the case was successfully settled on the third day of a scheduled five-week jury trial.)
  • Altamaha Riverkeeper v. Barnes, 2010 Ga. ENV. LEXIS 16 (July 23, 2010) (Challenged state water agency’s issuance of a surface water withdrawal permit for a coal plant proposed in Washington, Georgia.)

Representative Experience

  • Represented a Utah municipality in NPDES permitting requirements associated with city drinking water sources from historic mining tunnels, including TMDL and long-term stipulated compliance order.
  • Represented a Colorado municipality addressing effects of a large-scale water diversion and storage project on city drinking water, wastewater discharge compliance, and TMDL requirements.
  • Represented airports in stormwater and deicing fluid issues.
  • Represented a landowner in obtaining a state settlement related to contamination of the landowner’s wells from upgradient salt disposal.
  • Advised clients regarding:
    • Federal and state water quality standards.
    • Water quality sampling and monitoring.
    • Water quality remediation technology.
  • Represented developers of residential housing in responding to and resolving notices of violation of stormwater permits; crafted Supplemental Environmental Projects as part of negotiated settlements.

News & Publications


Groundwaters of the United States? Regulation of Groundwater Discharges Under the Clean Water Act
Colorado Bar Association
Webinar Presenter
Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. Webinar


ABA Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2017
May 2018
ABA Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2016
May 2017
Colorado Water Newsletter
November/December 2009