U.S.Court allows tile drain case to move forward

Author: Mike Williams | Posted: 9/25/2012
A lawsuit asking that agricultural tile drainage systems be permitted under the Clean Water Act's (CWA) NPDES permitting program has been allowed to proceed.  The case, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California, asserts that certain tile drainage systems in California are point sources under the CWA.  The lawsuit claims that the CWA's agricultural irrigation return flows exemption does not apply to these systems since the tile drains also drain subsurface groundwater. The case, Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations (PCFFA) v. Glaser is being watched closely for its potential impacts on tile drainage systems nationwide.