Waters Of The U.S.

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 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 […]

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 […]

Army Corps Approves Dakota Access Pipeline

Today, the United States Army Corps of Engineers sent a Notification to Congress regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline, announcing the Corps’ intention to grant an easement for the oil pipeline to cross Lake Oahe. (Document HERE.) The easement is located north of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and is the subject of the Standing Rock […]

Santa Barbara County Water Supply Vanishing Due to Drought

    Santa Barbara County Water Supply Vanishing Due to Drought The reservoir serving much of Santa Barbara County reached a record low this summer and could continue to disappear with a dry winter. The 3,000 acre reservoir, Lake Cachuma (see above photos in “before” and “after” shots), holds Santa Barbara County’s drinking water and reached […]

California Rep. Asks FERC to Remove Klamath Dam

Rep. Huffman of California Asks FERC to Approve Klamath Dam Removal On October 12th, Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., Ranking Member on the Water Power, and Oceans Subcommitte on the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), urging FERC to approve applications which would allow the transfer of […]

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