Reviving a federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”) lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that an indirect discharge – such as a discharge to ground water – may fall within the scope of the CWA, if the indirect discharge is sufficiently connected to navigable waters to be covered under the CWA. The decision was issued on April 12, 2018, in the case, Upstate Forever et al. v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, et al. The facts were unusual for a citizen suit, in that the citizen group plaintiffs were targeting discharges to ground water. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants were in violation of the CWA because defendant (or “Kinder Morgan”) discharged pollutants into navigable waters without obtaining a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. The source of the alleged discharge is a gasoline spill: in 2014, “over 369,000 gallons of gasoline spilled from Kinder Morgan’s underground pipeline, which extends over 1100 miles through parts of the eastern United States.” Slip Op. at 8. According to plaintiffs, the “gasoline pollutants from the pipeline are seeping into navigable waters as defined by the CWA.” Id. Kinder Morgan subsequently repaired the pipeline, and has recovered at least a portion of the spilled gasoline.