CWACS Expectations for Clients to Provide Support
CWACS believes in the Clean Water Act and the importance of legally implementing regulations to protect water resources, including those requirements adopted by local governments for the Industrial Pretreatment Program. CWACS will represent and provide support to POTWs that are alleged to have violated permits and regulations, only if the client:
1. Desires, or is actively working towards, achieving the goal of consistent compliance with the Clean Water Act;
2. Provides all resources necessary to fully fund, staff and implement the POTW pretreatment program;
3. Provides honest, complete, and unfettered access to detailed data and information to allow CWACS to meet the clients needs.
Confidentiality is assured;
4. Will commit to taking all necessary steps to conclude an active enforcement action.
5. Is willing to look for opportunities to build a positive relationship with the regulatory agency; and
6. Eliminates any perception or practice within its organization that violations are acceptable or penalties a cost of doing business.
CWACS will provide the following confidential support
Respond to EPA/state/local enforcement actions
Develop options and strategies for enforcement
Act as an impartial hearing officer for Show Cause hearings
Review of enforcement actions
Provide options for settlement
Provide expert testimony
Assist with depositions and trials
CWACS can provide significant and effective support when violations are identified or an enforcement actions is likely or underway. To provide the client with the maximum value and maximize effectiveness, it is critical that the client contact CWACS as early as possible. CWACS will also provide short notice on-call pretreatment assistance.
EPA and states would rather resolve issues surrounding violations then expend resources to litigate a case. Sometimes there is no opportunity to resolve a case before the regulatory agency takes that administrative, civil or criminal action. This is the ultimate "pulling the trigger" for a regulatory agency and results in a commitment by both sides to expend tremendous resources. Many opportunities to settle a case to the benefit of both the plaintiff and defendant are missed prior to walking into court.
The Clean Water Act (CWA) is a strict liability law. The regulatory agency only has to prove that a violation occurred, not why. However, to prove the violations means that data quality and quantity supports the allegations.
CWACS will work with the POTW to assess how serious the regulatory agency views the violation(s), the quality of data or information supporting the violation, and whether or not the regulatory agency has applied the regulations and policy correctly. It is important to have the most effective strategy to settle or litigate a case. EPA and states will assert they have no enforcement discretion. Every regulatory agency has enforcement discretion and routinely exercises that discretion.