Water

News & Analysis as of

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - California needs 11 trillion gallons of water to recover from the drought: Los Angeles Times - Jan 17: A series of recent rainstorms helped deposit needed moisture to California,...more

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda - January 2015

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s January 22, 2015 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on January 15, 2015. Agenda items E-6 and E-19 have not been summarized...more

Legislative Water Update

Conversations Among Federal Lawmakers May Lead to New Water Legislation - A number of conversations are occurring in the U.S. House of Representatives, and between the House and the U.S. Senate (particularly Rep. David...more

Pennsylvania’s Act 162 Creates Alternative to Riparian Buffers for Compliance with Clean Streams Law

In October 2014, the Pennsylvania legislature passed and the governor signed Act 162 of 2014, which amended the Clean Streams Law. Effective December 21, 2014, developers proposing an earth-disturbance activity near special...more

Are You Complying? New 2015 Laws Affecting Public Agencies

Community leaders need to be attentive to the new laws that will take effect in 2015 that deal with issues specifically relating to cities, special districts and other public agencies. These new laws cover everything from...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Ninth Circuit Delta Smelt Decision

On Monday, January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied two petitions seeking review of a Ninth Circuit decision upholding limits on water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect the endangered Delta...more

Louisiana Denies Drilling-Related Permit in Scenic Waterway

Louisiana has denied a permit to an energy company seeking to use water from a state-designated scenic river for its drilling operations. The decision represents the first time in Louisiana’s history that a permit to draw...more

Disputes Over Interstate Compacts Increase

On December 29, 2014, a special master recommended that the U.S. Supreme Court find that Wyoming failed to make deliveries of Tongue River water to Montana in accordance with the Yellowstone River Compact. However, the...more

Does the Public Trust Doctrine Apply to Groundwater? The California Supreme Court May Decide

The California Supreme Court is currently considering a petition that raises an important and novel issue of California water law: whether the public trust doctrine applies to groundwater. The public trust doctrine holds that...more

Here Today & Fracked Tomorrow: A Review of SB 4 in 2014

On Wednesday, December 17, I gave a presentation to the Groundwater Resources Association (“GRA”). I reviewed the past year’s developments in California’s regulation of hydraulic fracturing and previewed my future...more

Fish Two, Water Withdrawals Zero: The 9th Circuit Affirms Another Biological Opinion

On Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt another blow to traditional operation of the massive water projects that supply California’s Central Valley. The Court reversed those parts of a District Court opinion that...more

New Water Reporting Requirements for Oil and Gas Operators

A new oil and gas reporting bill, Senate Bill 1281, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley, was signed by Governor Brown on September 25, 2014. The California Department of Conservation – Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal...more

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

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: State court may tighten review process for building super-sized homes - SFGate.com - Dec 8: In a case that could redefine the scope of California’s environmental laws, the state Supreme...more

New Opportunities in UK Water?

OFWAT, the economic regulator of the water and sewerage sector in England and Wales, has set out the price controls that companies must use for regulated activities from 2015 to 2020. This new economic settlement brings...more

Don’t Like Your Utility Rates? Then Condemn The Provider….

There has been a remarkable movement lately throughout California: local government agencies are attempting to take over investor-owned, quasi-public utility companies in an effort to reduce utility bills to their...more

Rise in Middle East IWPs as Demand for Water Increases

The majority of the world’s desalination plants are located in the Middle East and we are likely to see a further increase given the region’s increasing water consumption and general water scarcity. GCC demand for desalinate...more

Swing, Pendulum, Swing: California's Historic Drought and Unprecedented Responses

Most know by now that California is facing one of its driest years in recorded history. Yet droughts are not new to California, and to put things in context we can be thankful that current drought conditions are only as bad...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: New dust control method ends L.A.'s longtime feud with Owens Valley: Los Angeles Times - Nov 14: The City of Los Angeles ended a bitter dispute with Owens Valley on Friday with the...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 2014 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus: Coastal California residents using far less water - Associated Press - Nov 4: Residents in coastal communities use far less water than their inland counterparts, but still find ways to...more

Current Water Utility CCN Decertification Issues At The Public Utility Commission Of Texas

The responsibility for the regulation of water and sewer service, including the oversight of certificates of public convenience and necessity (“CCNs”), was recently transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental...more

Bats, Water, Soil, and Bridges- an Engineer’s dream

Want to know how bats may effect your engineering plans? Want to hear about cool new bridges? Read on. Over the past month, I’ve had the pleasure of attending two events hosted by the North Carolina Chapter of the...more

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

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 - November 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - Coastal California residents using far less water: Associated Press - Nov 4: Residents in coastal communities use far less water than their inland counterparts, but still find ways to...more

Oil and Water: Proposed Redefinition of Waters of the U.S. Has Significant Implications for Domestic Operations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) have announced a new Nov. 14, 2014, deadline to submit comments to its much-debated redefinition of the term, “Waters of the United...more

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