How to use the Clean Water Act to protect local waters

Apr 2, 2024 | Water Policy

In early 2024, River Network, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Wisconsin Lakes, and River Alliance of Wisconsin joined forces to teach clean water advocates how to use the Clean Water Act to protect and restore local waters.

The workshops gave an overview of Clean Water Act programs, how they fit together and how to use River Network’s recently updated Clean Water Act Owner’s Manual. Local advocates shared real-world case studies on how they used the Clean Water Act to protect their waters and communities.

The webinars are now available on YouTube, courtesy of Wisconsin Lakes.


WPDES Permitting Program Implementation

Speaker: Rob Lee, Staff Attorney, Midwest Environmental Advocates
Learn about the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ implementation of the Clean Water Act, Section 404 surface water pollution permitting program (including permitting basics like the length of permit terms, renewals, etc.), identification of regulated substances, development of effluent limits for specific discharges into specific bodies of water, schedules for compliance with and variances to water quality standards, and how the general public can participate in the permitting process.


CAFO Regulation and Wetland Regulation

Speakers: Adam Voskuil, Staff Attorney and Rob Lee, Staff Attorney, Midwest Environmental Advocates

MEA Staff Attorney Adam Voskuil will discuss large, industrial-agricultural operations called concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and how the Department of Natural Resources regulates CAFOs and their discharges to surface water and groundwater. MEA Staff Attorney Rob Lee will discuss the regulation of wetlands fill in Wisconsin, including the permitting process, substantive permitting standards, and public participation opportunities. Attorney Lee will also discuss the interplay between federal and state wetland regulations and how a recent decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, Sackett v. EPA, impacts that interplay.


Clean Water Act’s TMDLs and Nine-key element plans

Speaker: Bill Davis, Senior Legal Analyst, River Alliance of Wisconsin
Get a general overview of the Clean Water Act before diving into learning about Total Maximum Daily Loads and Nine-Key Element Plans and how local groups and advocates can best use them to drive improvements in their local waters.


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