California is suffering one of the worst droughts in recorded history. In response, a number of new regulations have been passed to try and survive the lack of water. Below are some of the content our environmental attorneys have created to keep you up-to-date with what's happening in relation to California's drought.
- Governor Brown Authorizes Streamlined Groundwater Basin Adjudications and Private Party Participation Under Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
On Friday, October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed a suite of bills that has the potential to significantly increase litigation over groundwater rights. Together, Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226 authorize streamlined procedures for comprehensive groundwater adjudications in California superior courts, and ensure that these procedures will not conflict with groundwater management under the recently-enacted Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
- Nationwide Stay of EPA/Army Corps "Waters of the U.S." Rule Issued By Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a nationwide temporary stay of the Clean Water Rule, which was jointly adopted earlier this year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the "Agencies") to re-define the key term "waters of the United States" under the federal Clean Water Act.
- OPR Releases Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments for Public Comments
On August 11, 2015, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a Preliminary Discussion Draft of Changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Preliminary Discussion Draft).
- Progressively Tiered Water Rates to Promote Conservation May Violate Proposition 218
California's local water suppliers, hit with reduction requirements varying from 8% to 36% and potential penalties of up to $10,000 per day for noncompliance, are scrambling to figure out how to comply with these severe cutbacks.
- Army Corps Jurisdictional Determinations Subject to Pre-Permit Judicial Review
EPA and Army Corps of Engineers imposition of federal Clean Water Act requirements can now be challenged in court without waiting for the agencies to bring an enforcement action, at least in the Eighth Circuit.
- DWR Makes Progress in SGMA Implementation by Releasing Draft Regulations for Groundwater Sustainability Plans
The Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) recent release of draft emergency regulations for developing and evaluating groundwater sustainability plans marks continued progress toward implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), California’s comprehensive groundwater regulatory framework enacted in 2014. SGMA and its implementing regulations are likely to impact availability of groundwater throughout California, especially for users in basins that have historically experienced overdraft conditions.