News & Analysis as of

Bureau of Reclamation

Managing Water Releases From Dams to Protect Fish: A Tale of Good Legislation and Bad Engineering

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit found that the Bureau of Reclamation had authority under 1955 legislation to order additional releases of water to the Trinity River from the Lewiston Dam beyond the amount designated in an...more

Top Five Issues to Watch in Arizona Water Law

by Snell & Wilmer on

Drought on the Colorado River. Although the winter snowpack in the Rockies is off to a good start and California has seen heavy rainfall this winter, the drought in the southwest is not over. One wet season cannot overcome...more

As Lake Mead Dwindles, Arizona and Other Colorado River Basin States Continue to Plan for a Drier Future

by Snell & Wilmer on

It has become a familiar refrain. For each of the past three years, the United States Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the major reservoirs on the Colorado River, has announced a new “record low” water elevation in Lake...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Bill would limit communications with California Coastal Commission: Santa Barbara Independent - Mar 23 - State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson announced plans to introduce a bill...more

Take Two! Frogs, Water, and the Endangered Species Act in Oregon

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

In late December we reported on a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”) that alleges the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (“BOR”) is violating the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) through its operation and...more

Looking Ahead: Federal Drought Response

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Unsurprisingly, 2016 will be all about the elections. And like most election years, especially presidential elections, the majority of legislation brought up for a vote will be “messaging bills” that members can use to...more

Frogs, Water, and the Endangered Species Act in Oregon

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

Oregon spotted frogs and their habitats are being harmed because of the way the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (“BOR”) operates and maintains some reservoirs in the Upper Deschutes River Basin, so asserts the Center for...more

Water Infrastructure Funding

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

New water infrastructure projects have limited options for federal funding. Under the U.S. House of Representatives earmark ban, Title XVI funding is limited to currently authorized projects and is subject to yearly...more

Sonoran Desert Tortoise Not Endangered or Threatened Says FWS

by Perkins Coie on

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service determined on October 5, 2015 that the Sonoran Desert Tortoise, found primarily in Arizona, does not qualify as either an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2015 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - United States, China sign landmark climate change declaration at Los Angeles summit: Courthouse News - Sep 15: U.S. and Chinese leaders on Tuesday signed a landmark declaration on climate...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2015

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - North Dakota federal court limits injunction as to “Waters of the U.S.” rule to 13 states: The Hill - Sep 4 - A federal judge today declined to extend his order enjoining application of...more

Ninth Circuit Holds no NPDES Permit Required for Klamath Straits Drain

by Nossaman LLP on

In ONRC Action v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Bureau of Reclamation was not required to secure a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES")...more

The Ninth Circuit Holds Transfer of Water in Klamath River Basin Does Not Require Clean Water Act NPDES Permit

by Perkins Coie on

On August 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Oregon district court’s ruling that a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is not required for the discharge of water from...more

ESA Roundup – Legislation, Listings, and Litigation

by Nossaman LLP on

Whether dealing with water or with endangered species directly, there have been a numbers of recent developments that are worth keeping on your radar.  July 16, 2015 – The House of Representative, in a largely partisan...more

Lawsuit Filed Over State Water Board’s Temporary Modification of Water Quality Objectives

by Nossaman LLP on

Consistent with Governor Brown’s Drought Proclamation and Executive Orders, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) sought and obtained a temporary modification of certain...more

High Court Denies Petition by Parties with Reclamation Contracts Seeking to Avoid ESA Consultation

by Nossaman LLP on

On November 17, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari filed by Glenn Colusa Irrigation District and others seeking to overturn a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - September 2014 #2

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus: House GOP bill would speed up environmental reviews: KPCC - Sep 9: As negotiations over compromise drought legislation flounder in Congress, House Republicans are pursuing an alternative...more

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Releases Updated Operation Plan for Colorado River System Reservoirs

by Snell & Wilmer on

On August 13, 2014, the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) released its latest Operation Plan for Colorado River System Reservoirs 24-Month Study. The study projects operations and water releases for major...more

Recent Ninth Circuit ESA Decision May Be Headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

by Nossaman LLP on

On July 14, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District v. Natural Resources...more

Federal Court of Appeals Rules that California Water District May Recover Expectancy Damages from the United States

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Opinion Reverses Trial Court, and Bureau of Reclamation May Owe Additional Damages for Breach of Water Supply Contract - A recent federal appellate decision may clear the way for water purveyors to collect damages when...more

Water District Shorted by Federal Government May Recover Expectancy Damages

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A federal appellate court may have made it possible for water purveyors to collect additional damages from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation when water deliveries are shortened due to an inexcusable breach of contract. The...more

CEQA Exemption Update: Westland Water District Two-Year Contract Renewals Ruled Exempt from CEQA Requirements

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Westlands Water District, No. FO67383 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. July 3, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld the Westland Water District and its related distribution districts’ (Water...more

Fifth District Upholds CEQA Exemptions For Ongoing Pre-CEQA Projects And Continued Operation of Existing Facilities To Reject...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a July 3, 2014 published decision more notable for the practical importance of the water rights involved than the CEQA law applied, the Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected the CEQA challenges of various environmental...more

Broad Duty To Consult Is New Norm Under ESA In 9th Circ.

by Nossaman LLP on

Recently, the Ninth Circuit sitting en banc issued a landmark decision regarding the consultation provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The consultation provisions require any federal agency that authorizes, funds or...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Holds ESA Consultation Requirement Applies to Renewal of Long-Term Water Contracts

by Nossaman LLP on

In a unanimous decision, eleven active judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the duty to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when a federal agency action...more

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