Latest Publications


2014 Saw A Wave of Environmental Law Changes

The past year saw several developments in environmental law at both state and federal levels, particularly regarding water supply, water quality and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. As federal regulators tightened the...more

12/22/2014 - Environmental Policies Fracking Fracking Bans Greenhouse Gas Emissions Monterey Shale New Regulations Popular Power Plants Regulatory Reform Water Water Supplies

Utah Prairie Dog Could Narrow Endangered Species Act

A Utah federal court has created the potential for a constitutional showdown that could result in a significant narrowing of the Endangered Species Act and further limiting Congress’ power to legislate. In an unprecedented...more

12/19/2014 - Commerce Clause Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Habitat Conservation Plan Interstate Commerce Jurisdiction Private Property Rights Takings

Utah Federal Judge: ESA Rule Is Unconstitutional

In a ruling that, if upheld and followed, would significantly limit the reach of federal environmental regulation, a Utah federal judge determined that regulation of a purely intrastate species listed as threatened under the...more

11/12/2014 - Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

Historic Bills Designed To Sustainably Manage California’s Groundwater Head To Governor

Last Friday, the California Legislature passed three bills that provide for the regulation of groundwater for the first time in the state’s history. Once signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bills—currently known as AB 1739...more

9/8/2014 - Groundwater Pending Legislation SGMA Water Water Resources Control Board

Endangered Species Act's New Mission: Not Just Survival

On May 12, 2014, federal regulators announced proposals to issue new rules concerning critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, with the intent of clarifying three key areas of uncertainty. As proposed, the U.S. Fish...more

5/21/2014 - Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service National Marine Fisheries Service

Wildlife Agencies Propose New Endangered Species Regulations and Policy on Critical Habitat

On May 12, 2014, Federal wildlife agencies proposed two new rules concerning critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act and a draft policy regarding exclusions from critical habitat designations. The proposals, issued...more

5/16/2014 - Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act Fish and Wildlife Service National Marine Fisheries Service

State leads way on drinking water standard

On April 15, California became the first state in the nation to establish a drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium (Cr6). Prior to the new California standard, state and federal laws set drinking water standards for...more

4/28/2014 - Chemicals Chromium-6 Drinking Water Water

California Finalizes Drinking Water Standard for Hexavalent Chromium

On April 15, 2014, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) submitted the Final Statement of Reasons for the Hexavalent Chromium Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) to the Office of Administrative Law. No significant...more

4/16/2014 - Chemicals Chromium-6 Drinking Water Water

California Water Board Finalizes New Water Quality Requirements for Industrial Facility Storm Water Discharges

For the first time in 17 years, industrial facilities in California must contend with a new set of legal requirements controlling storm water. On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State...more

4/4/2014 - Environmental Policies Storm Water Water

State Water Board to Adopt Revised Industrial Storm Water Permit on April 1, 2014

The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) recently notified the public that it will consider for adoption the final draft of the general NPDES permit that regulates storm water discharges associated...more

2/27/2014 - Clean Water Act Industrial Stormwater Rule NPDES Storm Water

EPA Calls for New “Completion Strategies” at Contaminated Groundwater Sites

October 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its draft “Groundwater Remedy Completion Strategy – Moving Forward with Completion in Mind,” which would establish a recommended strategy for an adaptive...more

1/10/2014 - Adaptation Strategies CERCLA Contaminated Properties Environmental Assessments EPA Groundwater Land Developers Remedial Actions Superfund

Low Impact Development’s Supersized Stamp on California Storm Water Regulation

Without much fanfare, low impact development (“LID”) practices have become a dominant trend in federal and California storm water regulation. The California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) and the Regional...more

11/15/2013 - EPA Low-Impact Development NPDES Permits Storm Water Water Quality Control Boards

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