News & Analysis as of

California Adopts Comprehensive Groundwater Basin Adjudication Law

California enacts basin adjudication statutes with the goal of reducing uncertainty, costs and time of water rights litigation. On October 9, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226...more

New California Laws Will Ease Groundwater Right Battles, Yet Encourage More Litigation

On October 9, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two bills aimed at making groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. The new laws—companion bills AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226 (Pavley)—streamline...more

Operating a Well in California May Automatically Put You At Risk for a Prop 65 Lawsuit

California's Proposition 65 is notorious for its duty-to-warn requirement, which states that a business must give a clear and reasonable warning prior to exposing people to certain levels of any listed chemical. The warning...more

Implications of the California Drought on Energy Use and Climate Concerns

California's drought is now in its fourth year, and state leaders are faced with making unprecedented decisions further restricting water use. The brown lawns and dying trees are all too obvious and painful examples of the...more

Union of Concerned Scientists Offers Approach to Achieving SGMA Groundwater Sustainability Goals

Last year, the California Legislature passed the historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA,” or “the Act”), which for the first time established the foundation for a statewide effort to comprehensively and...more

SRBC Proposes Regulations to Authorize General Permits

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC or Commission) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on September 21, 2015 in which, among other things, the agency seeks to authorize general permits for projects that meet...more

Local Agencies React to Basin Boundaries Rule With Calls for Clarification, Collaboration

Sept. 4 closed the comment period for the draft emergency basin boundaries rule issued by the California Department of Water Resources under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Of the 34 comments made publicly...more

EPA Seeks Comment on National Enforcement Initiatives

On September 15, 2015, EPA solicited public comment on its upcoming cycle of National Enforcement Initiatives (NEI) for fiscal years (FY) 2017-2019. EPA is proposing to adopt three new enforcement initiatives and is...more

New California Groundwater Laws Portend More Litigation, But Faster Resolution

Last week, the California Legislature sent two important bills on groundwater to Governor Jerry Brown for signature. The bills promise to revamp California’s complicated, lengthy, and arduous judicial process for adjudicating...more

100 subsurface areas of solid minerals and groundwater are auctioned in the Republic of Kazakhstan

The RK Ministry of Investments and Development has approved a list of subsurface areas of solid minerals and groundwater subsurface use rights to which will be auctioned in Kazakhstan. The list includes 100 subsurface areas...more

EPA Requests Comment On Fiscal Year 2017 – 2019 Enforcement Priorities

EPA on September 15, 2015, announced its National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) for its Fiscal Years (FY) 2017 – 2019 and requested comment on them. 80 Fed. Reg. 55352. EPA selects enforcement initiatives every three years...more

Status of Oil and Gas-related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

September 11, 2015, was the deadline for lawmakers to pass legislation and send to the Governor for signature or veto. Below is a summary of several bills related to oil and gas activities, which Stoel Rives has been...more

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Amended

SB 13 Provides Clarifications and Revisions to SGMA - Yesterday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 13, which amends the groundbreaking Sustainable Groundwater Management Act enacted last year. The amendment streamlines certain...more

The Animas Spill: EPA Liability and Insurance Coverage

When a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released three million gallons of contaminated mining work wastewater into the Animas River in August 2015, the EPA immediately took responsibility, as it...more

Draft Guidelines for Planning Grants Released by California Department of Water Resources

Guidelines Will Drive Funding Process; Comments Due Oct. 5 - With the passage of the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1), California voters authorized the issuance of $7.1...more

Drought: Problems Arise When Water Supply Goes Down

We’ve all heard the good news by now: Californians have slashed water usage by 31 percent — way beyond Gov. Jerry Brown’s order for a 25 percent reduction....more

Court Of Chancery Grants Stay Of Derivative Case

A stay of derivative litigation is hard to get even when there is another case pending elsewhere. But when, as here, the other litigation may expose the company to significant liability, a stay of the derivative action...more

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

“Not the Stuff of Science”: “Differential Etiology” Causation Opinions Fail Daubert in 7th Circuit Toxic Tort Case

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in an environmental toxic tort case, holding that the testimony of all three of plaintiffs’ causation experts – James Dahlgren,...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and 2014 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report EPA is announcing the availability of its Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines...more

Legislation Revamping California Groundwater Adjudications Marches Forward

AB 1390 aims in unprecedented fashion to expedite procedures and processes for groundwater adjudications, which, in California, are known to take one or two decades before reaching a final judgment. The bill would add various...more

Six Things the Private Sector Should Know About EPA's Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance

The cumulative impact of the EPA guidance is to require the generation of more data, which means more sampling and analysis, more frequent and stringent remediation, and potentially higher remediation costs. At long...more

Eastern District of North Carolina Dismisses Challenge to State Clean Water Permitting Decision

On July 30, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina decided Rose Acre Farms, Inc. v. North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, No. 14-cv-147, 2015 WL 4603950. The...more

Did the 2015 Texas Legislature Help Oil and Gas?

Your Texas legislators have done their work and the citizens are safe for the next two years.  The other good news is that industry supporters generally believe the 2015 Legislature was their friend. House Bill 2: Set...more

Proposed Policies for Implementing B.C.’s New Water Sustainability Act Available for Comment

On July 30, 2015, the British Columbia government released four discussion papers for public comment outlining proposed new policies for regulations under the Water Sustainability Act. These papers are important as much of...more

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