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, […]

Central Valley Farming District Votes Against Participating in the California WaterFix

This week one of the biggest supporters of California’s water tunnels voted against funding the ambitious California water project (known as “California WaterFix”) proposed Governor Jerry Brown. Westlands Water District voted 7 to 1 against a resolution to help fund the $17 billion set of 40-foot-diameter tunnels underneath the Delta, citing concerns about costs that […]

Central Valley Farmer John Duarte Reaches Settlement with Federal Government

Just before the penalty phase of trial was set to begin on Tuesday, Northern California farmer John Duarte reached a settlement with the federal government, after being fined for plowing over disputed wetlands on his property. With the government seeking a $2.8 million fine and tens of millions of dollars in mitigation expenses, Duarte agreed […]

California Farmer Takes Clean Water Act Legal Fight to the Political Arena

Lobbyist, and former Republican Representative, Richard Pombo, has been retained by a California nursery owner facing a potential multi-million dollar fine for violating the Clean Water Act. Nursery owner, John Duarte of Duarte Nursery has retained the Washington, D.C. lobby to help fight his lengthy dispute with federal officials. Simultaneously, Mr. Duarte is facing a […]

California Farmer Facing Almost $3 Million in Fines for Plowing Own Field

A California farmer is facing a $2.8 million fine and a trial in federal court this summer for failing to get a permit to plow his own field. John Duarte, of Duarte Nursery, bought 450 acres of land near Modesto in 2012, where he planned to grow wheat. While his wheat was planted, it was […]

Legal Tempest in a Teapot: Rapanos Being Re-fought by Opponents of the Trump CWA Executive Order

Environmental groups are taking issue with President Trump’s executive order instructing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to consider interpreting the term “navigable waters” in a manner consistent with the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in Rapanos v. United States. In his opinion Justice Scalia concluded that the Clean Water Act only applies to relatively permanent […]

U.S. Supreme Court will hear Waters of the United States Case Over Trump Objection

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that it will hear a case related to the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States rule, promulgated under the Obama administration. The Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s motion to put the ligation on hold in light of President Trump’s February executive […]

California Farmers Upset Over Water Allocations

This week the Bureau of Reclamation announced the 2017 water allocations for California farmers and many groups are upset over the long-awaited announcement. According to the release, farmers south of the state’s main water hub would only receive 65 percent of their allotted water from the Central Valley Project. Meanwhile, other regions are receiving their […]

BREAKING: President Trump Directs EPA to Roll Back Clean Water Rule

On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing the roll back of Clean Water Act rules promulgated under the Obama administration. The rules, known as the Waters of the United States rule, defines federal permitting jurisdiction under the CWA. During his 2016 campaign, the president spoke frequently of his intentions to roll […]

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