Water

News & Analysis as of

Regulators Confirm: No Drinking Water Contamination from Oil & Gas Disposal Wells

On Tuesday, March 10, California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matthew Rodriquez and California Natural Resources Agency (“CNRA”) Secretary John Laird testified before a joint State Senate committee hearing. At...more

Pacific Northwest Water Wars

It may come as a surprise that people fight over water in soggy Oregon and Washington. To be sure, we have not experienced the same level of conflict over competing water needs as our neighbors in the southwest, but in fact...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: Berkeley Hillside: New Supreme Court decision defines limits of CEQA exemption challenges to development: Allen Matkins - Mar 2: On March 2, the California Supreme Court issued the...more

Critical Resources and Land Development: "Water Wars" Are on the Horizon

As we've posited in this space before, water will be the oil of the 21st century. In what way? Its value, its scarcity, its requirement for development. It will also be more valuable than oil in that, unlike oil, we have...more

Proposed Assembly Bill 356 Would Require Additional Groundwater Monitoring by Oil & Gas Operators

California Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) has introduced an oil and gas bill to ensure that the state comes into compliance with the Class II underground injection (“UIC”) requirements under the federal Safe...more

State of Alaska Continues Slow Progress in Adjudicating Instream Flow Water Rights

The State of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continued its slow and steady progress to issue the first instream flow water right to a non-governmental organization with a February 18, 2015 notice requesting...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: California lawmakers introduce sweeping new measures to increase renewable energy, cut fossil fuel use - San Jose Mercury News - Feb 10: Last Tuesday, California lawmakers unveiled a...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: State Water Board launches investigation into claims of senior water rights - Allen Matkins - Feb 9: On February 4, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board issued an order seeking...more

Catch 22: “If You’re Moving Dirt, You Need to Control Your Dust” (But Don’t Use Potable Water!)

Returning from an Oregon vacation in this past Summer along I-5, I found frequent reminders of the extraordinary drought conditions prevailing across California. A grey smoky gloom blanketed the California-Oregon border from...more

California Water Leaders Testify at Capitol on Water Bond

Earlier this week, California’s water leaders testified during an informational hearing at the Capitol before the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife about the new $7.5 billion water bond....more

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

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