Groundwater

News & Analysis as of

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

Proposed Rule from US Department of the Interior Increases Pressure on Coal Mining Industry

On July 27, 2015, the US Department of the Interior, through its Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), proposed to revise regulations adopted under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of...more

Natural Contaminants Exceed Human-Made Contaminants in California’s Groundwater

Defendants in groundwater contamination cases in California have additional evidence to direct blame where it should be placed – on naturally occurring contaminants. An extensive study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has...more

Toilet to Frac: Legal and Practical Aspects of Using Municipal Effluent for Fracing in Texas

Thus far, the idea of using purified municipal sewage effluent—“reclaimed water” in industry parlance—for city water supplies has proven a tough sell. Human psychology poses significant barriers to overcoming the “toilet to...more

Draft Basin Boundary Regulations Released

Public Comments Due Sept. 4 - The California Department of Water Resources has released draft emergency regulations governing how groundwater basin boundaries may be modified or redrawn under the state’s Sustainable...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 43

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 43 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in California, New York, and Ohio. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide...more

Expanded Significant Environmental Hazard Requirements for Connecticut Site Owners: Changes, Pitfalls, and Impacts

As of July 1, 2015, significant changes took effect for the Significant Environmental Hazards (SEH) program established by Conn. General Statutes §22a-6u. This program requires reporting to the Connecticut Department of...more

Do Owners Have a Legal Obligation to Disclose All They Know About Their Project Sites?

Unanticipated subsurface conditions can greatly increase the time and cost of construction. When faced with such conditions, contractors understandably look to place responsibility for the additional costs on the owner....more

California Supreme Court Grants Review in San Buenaventura Groundwater Pumping Fees Case

Appellate Court Decision Held that the Pumping Fee is Subject to Prop. 26 and is not a Property-Related Fee Subject to Prop. 218 - Two California Appellate Court decisions handed down in March addressed whether or not...more

More Stringent "Significant Environmental Hazard" Reporting Requirements to Take Effect July 1, 2015

Despite recent lobbying by industry and other stakeholders for a postponement of its effective date, a law passed in 2013 (Public Act 13-308) will take effect on July 1, 2015 amending existing reporting requirements for...more

State Water Board Receives Groundwater Monitoring Recommendations from Experts

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) has recently released recommendations from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (“LLNL”) on Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring. Pursuant to Senate Bill 4...more

EPA Takes Positions on Vapor Intrusion

In a busy day for vapor intrusion, last week the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency made several announcements about vapor intrusion. First, it announced it had submitted a draft rule to the White House OMB seeking to...more

DEQ Announces CAFO Permit Change to Protect Michigan Surface Waters

On May 4, 2015, Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced a change to its Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) discharge permits in an effort to better protect the environment and Michigan's...more

EPA Releases Draft Assessment of Potential Hydraulic Fracturing Impacts on Drinking Water Resources

On June 4, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft of its highly anticipated study, Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (the...more

Obama Administration Issues Final Rule on “Waters of the United States” - The Rule Will Expand The Universe Of "Waters" Subject To...

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (collectively, the “agencies”) issued a final rule revising the regulatory definition of “Waters of the United...more

Update on California Water Legislation Regarding Groundwater, Recycled Water and More

June 5, 2015 marked the deadline for lawmakers to pass bills out of their house to the opposite house. Bills that did not pass in their house of origin by that date have effectively died (unless such a bill has been...more

Ninth Circuit Adheres to Narrow Interpretation of “Local Single Event” Exception Under CAFA

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a suit brought against Boeing and its environmental remediation contractor over alleged groundwater contamination that occurred over the course of 40 years...more

Fracking Is Not One-Size-Fits-All, Which Is Good News for California When It Comes to Water

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” has come under scrutiny for its potential impacts on water, including the risks to water quality and the amount of water used in the practice. California’s new regulations on...more

Ninth Circuit Strictly Construes “Single Local Event” Exception to CAFA Jurisdiction for Mass Actions

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals strictly construed the “single local event” exception to federal jurisdiction under CAFA as not encompassing “events or occurrences” that are of a continuing...more

Water District Case Clarifies California Public Records Act Exemption for Utility Customers

“Customer” Includes a Business or Corporation, Judge Rules - The Public Records Act exempts from required disclosure the identities of commercial, as well as individual, utility customers, according to a recent...more

Letter Urges Oil & Gas Wastewater Well Shut-Ins due to Risk of Groundwater Contamination; Regulators Stick to Rulemaking

On March 20, Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) wrote a letter to Governor Jerry Brown requesting that his administration immediately shut down approximately 2,500 underground injection wells. The letter was signed by...more

Groundwater Fees in Flux Following Recent Conflicting Proposition 218 Cases

With California in the midst of a record-breaking drought (as reported in a recent Allen Matkins legal alert, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order ordering mandatory actions to reduce California's water...more

Are Groundwater Extraction Fees Property Related or Regulatory Fees? It Depends

Two new Proposition 218-related cases published in March come to opposite conclusions in determining whether groundwater extraction and replenishment fees are “property-related” fees subject to Article XIII D of the...more

Two California Appellate Court Rulings Demonstrate that Groundwater Pumping Fees are in the Eye of the Beholder

One Holds that the Fee is Subject to Prop. 26 and Another that it is a Property-Related Fee Subject to Prop. 218 - Two California Appellate Court decisions handed down this month address whether or not a local water...more

Ohio Federal Court Rules That DuPont’s Teflon Emissions Are Covered by RCRA

Last week the Southern District of Ohio held that air emissions from DuPont’s Teflon production operations at its Washington Works Facility in West Virginia, which landed on a water supplier’s wellfield and contaminated the...more

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