Vermont Law School has resumed on-campus classes for the fall. Masks are currently required for all community members. For information on campus access, health and safety protocols, and testing requirements please visit vermontlaw.edu/covid19.
Taylor represents mostly municipaland industrial dischargers and some
“Regulators, environmental groups
and point-source dischargers are all
concerned about the lack of nonpoint-source
authority. Regulators and
environmental groups are concerned
because in many cases the leading
cause of water-quality problems is
related to non-point-source pollution.
Point sources are concerned because
they are the only ones regulated, and
the problems can’t be fully addressed
by ratcheting down their permit limits.
Many states are considering how
better to regulate non-point sources.
The Clean Water Act does not regulate
non-point-source discharges, and most
states followed that model,” Taylor says.
“This lack of regulatory authority
is affecting implementation of Total
Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and
water-quality attainment goals
particularly with respect to nutrients.
Without adequate control of nutrient
discharges from non-point sources
point sources bear the brunt of
required pollutant reductions.”
TRENDS AND BIG ISSUES
“There is data to show ocean acidification
has an impact on aquatic life and
commercially-important species. How
ocean acidification will be treated is a
major legal issue,” Taylor says.
“A state like Maine is soon going to
make a specific finding that a marine
water segment is not attaining its water quality
classification/standard due to
ocean acidification. When that finding
is made, the state must do a TMDL
to limit pollutant loads causing the
nonattainment … How is a state going
to limit air emissions from another
state, which is the primary contributor
to the problem?”
The issue, he says, will require more
integration between Clean Air Act and
Clean Water Act controls.
Taylor also cites an increase in
cyanobacteria—or toxic blue-green algae—
outbreaks in waters and the importance of
better understanding the consequences for
aquatic life and human health.