EPA Takes Steps to Limit Veto Powers

US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Wednesday that he will be revoking the agency’s power to veto at any time permits allowing waste from mining and infrastructure projects to impact waters of the US, including wetlands. Pruitt has directed the agency’s Office of Water to put a proposal together over the next 6 months that […]

Proposed Revisions to the Clean Water Act: EPA’s Veto Power Thwarted

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced on June 27, 2018 that Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to do away with the agency’s power to veto permits allowing material from mining and infrastructure projects to impact waters of the U.S. Pruitt directed the agency to put together a proposal to change regulations controlling the agency’s authority […]

States Ask Federal Judge to Nix EPA’s Delay of the Clean Water Rule Update

A group of states, including California and New York, asked a federal judge this week to invalidate the US EPA’s recent choice to delay implementing an Obama-era update to the Clean Water Rule, arguing that the agency failed to follow proper notice-and-comment protocol when delaying the rule’s application. The rule, to be implemented by EPA […]

Santa Barbara Awarded a $10 Million Desalination Grant

The City of Santa  Barbara has been awarded a $10 million grant by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to offset the $72 million cost of reactivating the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant. The plant came back online to supply water to city customers in May 2017. It provides an important source of drought-proof […]

Slim Outlook for Water Storage Project Approval by Water Commission

Over 3 years ago, state voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion bond measure to pay for new water projects, $3 billion of which was intended to be set aside for reservoirs and other water-storage projects. The funding is directed to projects that fulfill the following benefits: ecosystem improvements, water quality improvements, flood control, […]

United States to Enter into War: A War on Lead

Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator promoted a goal of “investing in infrastructure . . . to eradicate lead in our drinking water within a decade” in testimony before the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works. Some commentators have expressed skepticism as to whether the so-called War on Lead is a political ploy and whether […]

Bureau of Reclamation Announces Water Allocations for Some Farms, Remains Uncertain About Others

This week the Bureau of Reclamation announced that most customers would receive all of their contracted water supplies from the Central Valley Project (“CVP”). However, because of a dry winter in California, approximately 10 percent of customers have yet to even receive a supply estimate and large areas of farmland south and east of the […]

Ninth Circuit Rules on CWA Pollution Liability

On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that wastewater injections whose pollutions reach navigable U.S. waters via groundwater are subject to the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Experts say this decision could drastically expand the scope of CWA liability and includes activities ranging from coal ash and pipeline spills to agricultural runoff. In coming to this decision, […]

Trump Administration Sued by Environmental Groups Over Mojave Desert Groundwater Project

This week environmental groups brought a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its recent support of a company’s plan to pump 16.3 billion gallons of groundwater each year from a Mojave Desert aquifer to developments in South Orange County and other locations. Los Angeles-Based Cadiz Inc. seeks to build a pipeline that pumps the water […]

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