EPA Announces Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 Final Rule Webinars

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two public meetings via webinar to cover a comprehensive overview of its most recent Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule ("UCMR"), UCMR 5. The two meetings will be held on March 16th from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and March 17th from 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm (eastern time). The meetings will be identical, and EPA has posted links to sign up for either of the webinars on its website. The webinars are currently first-come, first-served, and sign-up space for them is limited. EPA has stated that it may schedule additional webinars if there is ...

The Next Chapter of the WOTUS Saga is Here

On November 18, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the availability of a pre-publication version of a proposed rule (Proposed Rule) to amend the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). This much anticipated rulemaking is the latest attempt by the agencies to provide regulatory clarity on what water features are subject to the protections of the Clean Water Act.

The agencies did not announce a date for official Federal Register publication, but once published, the Proposed Rule will have a 60-day comment period ...

WEBINAR: Turning the Tide on Cybersecurity for the Water Sector

Cyberattacks on organizations worldwide surged 40% in 2021. September 2021 broke records for the number of weekly cyberattacks, topping all other months since January 2020. Currently, one out of every 61 organizations worldwide is impacted by ransomware attacks every week. Given this ever-increasing threat level, a national law requiring critical infrastructure organizations to report cybersecurity incidents to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is on the horizon. In addition, the Biden administration’s proposed infrastructure bill ...

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Updated Plan to Address PFAS Chemicals

On October 18, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration announced an updated government-wide “comprehensive approach” to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a set of man-made chemicals that are widely used in a variety of consumer and industrial products, and which persist in the environment once released and may be linked to health impacts. The announcement identified several activities to address PFAS by eight federal agencies, as well as proposed funding in the forthcoming infrastructure bill for monitoring for PFAS compounds in drinking water through ...

Posted in Events
Happy Water Professionals Appreciation Week!

During this 4th annual Water Professionals Appreciation Week, Nossaman would like to acknowledge all of California’s essential water sector professionals. Not just this week, but every week of the year, they work on the front lines to provide this essential resource to all of our communities and serve as stewards for the environment.

Water Professionals Appreciation Week was created in 2017 to highlight the important role of water industry professionals and local public water agencies in ensuring safe and reliable tap water, wastewater and recycled water for California. Now ...

WOTUS No More: EPA and Corps Revert to Pre-2015 Framework

On September 3, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the agencies will abandon the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) set forth in the April 21, 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and will instead rely on the pre-2015 regulatory framework. The agencies’ announcement comes on the heels of a decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona vacating the NWPR. …

Navigable Waters Protection Rule Vacated

On August 30, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona vacated the April 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule in which the Trump Administration revised the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The court is still weighing whether (a) to restore the Obama-era WOTUS rule, which more broadly defines jurisdictional areas; or (b) simply to undo the Trump rollback, which would result in a return to pre-Obama WOTUS regulations. 

This ruling affects those states within the jurisdiction of the court and may apply more broadly within the jurisdiction of the U.S ...

New POTUS, New WOTUS?

At the end of July, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Biden administration will begin working to create a “durable definition” of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have announced that they “are committed to developing a reasonable, effective, and durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries.” It is notable that the announcement did not mention specifically the ...

New Lawsuit Tests Application of Public Trust Doctrine to Groundwater, Well Permits and SGMA

On June 23rd, California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) filed the lawsuit California Coastkeeper Alliance v. County of Sonoma (Case No. SCV-268718) in Sonoma County Superior Court. According to CCKA’s website, the suit was filed “to compel the County of Sonoma to consider and mitigate impacts to public trust resources caused by unregulated and wasteful groundwater pumping in the Russian River watershed.” The organization went on to state, “This is an important move during this historic drought to protect salmon populations that are already at risk of extinction, and to ...

OEHHA Releases Long-Awaited Proposed Public Health Goals for PFOA and PFOS

Today, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) of the California Environmental Protection Agency announced the release of a draft document for public review describing proposed Public Health Goals (PHGs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water. The release of the draft PHGs is a long-awaited and significant step in the regulation of such per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in California.

The draft PHGs identified by OEHHA are 0.007 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA to address concerns based on ...

Sea Level Rise Professionals Opine on Potential Impacts of SLR for California

On May 27, Nossaman’s Water Industry Group hosted a webinar to discuss the potential impacts of sea level rise on infrastructure and private property, as well as current legislation seeking to address the impacts of sea level rise.

This post is not intended to summarize the topics discussed during the webinar, so if you missed the presentation and want to catch up, you can download the slide deck or watch a recording of the webinar here.

Over the course of the webinar, we asked a few poll questions to get to know more about our audience and their concerns about sea level rise.  We found the ...

Latest Milestone on the SGMA Timeline

As the clock slowly ticks forward on California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) deadlines, earlier this month, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) issued its first assessments of groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). Two groundwater sustainability agencies’ (GSAs) plans were approved:  Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin in Santa Cruz County and 180/400 Foot Aquifer Subbasin in Monterey County. GSPs from the Cuyama Valley Basin and Paso Robles Subbasin were deemed to “lack specific details” and were not approved.

According to the DWR’s ...

Update on Executive Order N-29-20

Unbelievably, it was March 17, 2020 when Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20 (amending Executive Order N-25-20 in part) as part of a series of emergency measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  EO N-29-20 allows local or state legislative bodies to hold meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically without violating the open meeting laws found in the Bagley-Keene Act or the Brown Act. This order waived certain provisions of the Brown Act, including requirements that meetings be conducted in physical locations; that a majority ...

WEBINAR: Living on the Edge: Managing Sea Level Rise in California

With the recent flurry of coastal law bills before the California State Legislature and the myriad headlines advising that we must retreat from the shore, sea level rise (SLR) and related climate change topics remain front and center in California. Join our Water Industry Group on May 27, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT for "Living on the Edge: Managing Sea Level Rise in California" as we sort through the pending legislation and discuss the basis for this ever-increasing concern with the encroaching ocean.

Comprised of attorneys from Nossaman’s Water, Environment & Land Use and ...

WEBINAR: Charting a Course for Offshore Wind Energy in California

Please join us on May 6, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT as Nossaman’s Coastal Development and Environment & Land Use Groups present “Charting a Course for Offshore Wind Energy in California” to discuss current proposals and pending regulations concerning offshore wind development along the California coast.

We will be participating on a top tier panel of coastal specialists which will also include: Kate Huckelbridge, Deputy Director of Energy, Ocean Resources & Federal Consistency, CA Coastal Commission; Jennifer Lucchesi, Executive Officer, State Lands ...

WEBINAR: The First 100 Days of President Biden’s Environmental Policy: Revolution or Back to Basics?

The first 100 days of a new administration can define what lies ahead for the next four years. Join our panel of Nossaman Environment & Land Use attorneys from across the U.S. on April 15, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT as we review and evaluate the Biden administration’s first 100 days of policy moves involving environmental and natural resources management.

We will discuss efforts to fill leadership roles at CEQ, EPA, Interior, DOT and other federal agencies. Updates and analysis will be provided regarding key areas of policy, legislation and regulation, including:

  • Climate ...
Sea Level Rise Legislation – What’s on the Horizon?

Sea level rise is a critical issue facing public agencies and property owners throughout the United States. In California alone, this phenomenon could impact thousands of residences and businesses, dozens of wastewater treatment plants and power plants and hundreds of miles of highways, roads and railways. Last year, the California Legislature introduced a number of bills that proposed to address, or anticipate, or mitigate the impacts of sea level rise in California. Almost all of those bills, however, failed to make their way to the Governor’s desk. This year, the California ...

Draft California’s Groundwater – Update 2020 Released by the Department of Water Resources

Earlier this month, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the draft California’s Groundwater – Update 2020. According to DWR’s website:

“This version of California’s Groundwater provides a comprehensive look at statewide groundwater activities, compiling technical information and data from 2003 to 2020. This bulletin recognizes the historic passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 and builds a statewide framework to share new information and progress made by locals who are managing groundwater basins across the state. It ...

WEBINAR: Taking the Plunge: Lessons Learned from Water System Consolidations

With a wide patchwork of water systems servicing residents across California, there have been ongoing efforts by the Legislature to encourage the consolidation of smaller water systems to take advantage of scale economies and improve system reliability and compliance with drinking water standards.

To gain insight into the evolving landscape as these changes are being implemented, please join us on March 23, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PT for a complimentary webinar, “Taking the Plunge: Lessons Learned from Water System Consolidations.” Also joining our Nossaman ...

Many Opposing Views on California’s New Water Futures Market

As of December 7, 2020, water has been included as a traded commodity on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“the Merc”). According to a recent Chicago magazine article, “Now cities and farmers can buy futures in California’s water, meaning they can hedge against (or bet on) rising water prices out west, based on the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index [ticker symbol: NQH2O], which tracks the current market price of the five largest water supplies in the state…So far, only the Golden State’s water supply is being traded; it’s sort of a test run.”

Some see this move at the ...

Cybersecurity Update for Water Systems

Following up on our December 2020 post regarding the SolarWinds cybersecurity breach, we wanted to provide a link to the February 11, 2021 joint Cybersecurity Advisory issued by the federal government. The Advisory—jointly authored by the FBI, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency and the Multi-State Information & Analysis Center, part of the nonprofit Center for Internet Security—comes on the heels of a cyberattack on the Oldsmar, Florida water treatment plant. On February 5th, a hacker gained access to the plant and increased ...

Nossaman Welcomes a New Water Leaders Alum!

Congratulations to Water Law Group Associate Willis Hon who completed the Water Education Foundation’s Water Leaders program at the end of 2020. Members of the 2020 Water Leaders class examined how to adapt water management to climate change. Read their policy recommendations in the class report, Adapting California Water Management to Climate Change: Charting a Path Forward, to learn more.

The William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class is California’s premiere water leadership program aimed at early to mid-career, up-and-coming community leaders from diverse backgrounds ...

SolarWinds Cybersecurity Exploit: What Water Providers Need to Know and Do

In light of the major cybersecurity breach of the SolarWinds Orion software by malicious actors, the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) recently issued a series of advisories providing guidance for water providers across the country on how to respond and react to this unprecedented cyberattack.

As highlighted in the WaterISAC advisory issued on December 16, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that all water and wastewater utilities review the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA's) Emergency Directive ...

Recap of the Election’s Potential Legislative Impacts on the Water Sector

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar “Flood or Drought? A Discussion of the Election’s Potential Legislative Impacts on the Water Sector”, please check out the recording of the on-demand webinar, which can be accessed here. Additionally, we invite you to download the presentation slide deck here.

Several key take-aways from the presentation included:

  • Consensus among the water industry, and a proactive approach, will help advance legislative goals under tight timeline pressures.
  • The State Resources Water Control Board is currently gathering information about ...
Power Shutoffs: What California Water Providers Should Know

We recently authored the article, “Power Shutoffs: What California Water Providers Should Know” (subscription required) for the Daily Journal, California’s leading daily legal news source.

The article examines how water systems—which rely heavily on electricity to pump, treat and deliver safe drinking water to customers—have been impacted as catastrophic wildfires in California have led to an increased use of public safety power shutoff (PSPS) as a means for electric utilities to mitigate the risk ...

WEBINAR: Flood or Drought? A Discussion of the Election’s Potential Legislative Impacts on the Water Sector

President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump could mean big changes for federal treatment of issues affecting water service providers, as well as how such issues are addressed in California, where Governor Newsom will presumably now have an ally in the White House. At both the state and federal levels, legislators are still working to address the impact of COVID-19 on public health and the economy, while pursuing existing policy goals that may have been put on hold due to the challenges created by the pandemic.

To navigate these new changes, please join us on December 3, 2020 ...

America’s Water Infrastructure Act: More Deadlines Ahead for Community Drinking Water Systems!

Community Water Systems (CWSs) around the country should be aware of upcoming deadlines at the end of 2020 that were put into place under the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) previously signed into law in 2018. The law requires CWSs that serve more than 3,300 people to complete a risk and resilience assessment and develop an emergency response plan and establishes deadlines by which water systems must certify to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completion of the risk assessment and emergency response plan.

For those CWSs serving ≥100,000 ...

Executive Order on Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure

On October 13, 2020, President Trump issued the Executive Order (EO) on Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure. The goal of the EO is to streamline the management of federal water policy and make coordination among agencies managing water infrastructure more efficient. The EO established a Water Subcabinet of agency officials to coordinate water strategy and planning. The composition of the Water Subcabinet is outlined in the EO, and according to a press release from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ...

Happy Water Professionals Appreciation Week!

California’s fourth annual Water Professionals Appreciation Week kicks off on October 3rd, highlighting the important role of water industry professionals and local public water agencies in ensuring safe and reliable water, wastewater and recycled water operations in California. Now more than ever, we appreciate the dedication of our highly trained operators, technicians and other specialists in the water sector.

Water Professionals Appreciation Week was established in 2017 by Senate Concurrent Resolution 80, by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa). Recent labor studies estimate ...

Nossaman is a proud supporter of the American Water Works Association's Water For People Virtual Gala & Auction. The event will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. PT. Virtual doors open at 5:00 p.m. PT. In partnership with Pacific Auction Company, the Water for People California Committees are excited to hold their first Virtual Gala & Auction. You can RSVP for the event here.

The live auction will feature fabulous local getaways, specialty wine, and other great surprises! Attendance is free, though you must register to participate! Breakout afterparty rooms will follow the gala event. There is also a Silent Auction open from September 25 to October 1. Net proceeds of this event benefit Water For People’s mission in promoting the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all. Water for People is a 501(c)(3) organization. For additional information please visit waterforpeople.org

More Stringent WOTS Permitting Requirements

Nossaman recently presented the webinar "WOTS Next? An Update on the Clean Water Act and Regulation of Waters of the State & Waters of the U.S." To hear some of the key points which I discussed concerning current WOTS permitting requirements, please click here for the overview of that topic from the webinar.

If you were not able to attend the full live session, we invite you to watch the on-demand webinar at your convenience. During this presentation, you will learn about:

  • The current status of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule;
  • The current status of the new federal Clean Water Act ...
Newsom Releases Final Water Resilience Portfolio Outlining California State Water Priorities

Governor Gavin Newsom recently released the final version of the Water Resilience Portfolio, which identifies 142 specific state actions to be taken in order to help build a climate-resilient water system for California in the face of climate change. The Water Resilience Portfolio is meant to serve as the Newsom Administration’s blueprint for helping the State adapt to impacts of climate change on its water, including more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, declining fish populations, over-reliance on groundwater and other challenges.

In April 2019, Governor ...

PFAS: Updates on the Regulatory Landscape

Please join me as I moderate “PFAS: Updates on the Regulatory Landscape” on July 29th, from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PT, during the 2020 Summer Virtual Conference, hosted by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).

Participants will come away from this session with important information about...

WOTS Next? An Update on the Clean Water Act and Regulation of Waters of the State & Waters of the U.S.

Please join us along with our guest panelist, Thienan Pfeiffer, President & CEO of Glenn Lukos Associates, from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. PT on July 16, 2020 for a timely webinar: "WOTS Next? An Update on the Clean Water Act and Regulation of Waters of the State & Waters of the U.S."

In the ever-shifting landscape of the Clean Water Act and Porter-Cologne jurisdiction, it can be difficult to determine whether you are engaging in activities that result in discharges of dredge, fill or pollutants to a Water of the United States (WOTUS) or Water of the State (WOTS), triggering regulatory permitting ...

Posted in Water Quality
Water Board Adopts Final Definition of Microplastics in Drinking Water

This week, on June 16, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) unanimously adopted a definition for microplastics, making California the first state to adopt a definition specifically applied to drinking water (footnotes omitted):

‘Microplastics in Drinking Water’ are defined as solid polymeric materials to which chemical additives or other substances may have been added, which are particles which have at least three dimensions that are greater than 1nm and less than 5,000 micrometers (µm). Polymers that are derived in nature that have not been chemically modified (other than by hydrolysis) are excluded.

The final definition is much the same as the proposed version that was issued in March 2020 for public comment, key differences being that ...

CPUC Proceedings on Low-Income Customer Assistance and Affordability

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently took action in two proceedings addressing issues related to low-income customer assistance and affordability. The CPUC noted that the importance of these proceedings has been magnified due to the economic conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

First, on June 3, 2020, the CPUC issued an amended scoping memo in Rulemaking 17-06-024 requesting comments to consider potential CPUC response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This would be the second phase of this rulemaking proceeding, which was initiated to evaluate the ...

WEBINAR: A Path to Transit and Transportation Project Success in the Wake of the Pandemic

For those of you involved in the transportation sector, we invite you to join us on Wednesday, June 3rd for a discussion on planning, procurement and financing strategies that can be implemented now to support timely project delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are planning a very interactive webinar where ample time will be set aside to answer questions received from attendees both prior to and during the event.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • How to prepare now to efficiently and effectively move projects forward
  • Procurement and contracting strategies that enable ...
Developments in Regulating PFAS in Water

Recently, I participated in the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) Master Class, PFAS: From Common Use to Concern. My fellow panelists and I discussed “PFAS in Water,” which included a discussion of the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS contaminated waters, as well as the best approaches to regulate, establish and enforce cleanups and safe drinking water standards.  I was privileged to serve on this panel along with Chris Curran, Water Business Line PFAS Lead, AECOM; Rula Deeb, Ph.D., Senior Principal, Geosyntec Consultants; and Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice. Some of the main take-aways from our presentation included ...

UPCOMING WEBINAR: PFAS in Water

Please join me on May 5, 2020, when I will participate in a webinar panel discussion, "PFAS in Water," hosted by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). As the second presentation during the ELI Master Class, PFAS: From Common Use to Concern, our  panel will dive into the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS contaminated waters. We will also tackle the best approaches to regulate, establish and enforce cleanups and safe drinking water standards. Additionally, our group of experienced water sector practitioners will explore the federal and regional regulatory ...

Middle Ground, or Muddy Waters? SCOTUS Issues Vague Rule in Clean Water Act Decision

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund et al., 590 U.S. __ (2020), in which it determined that the Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for point source discharges of pollutants do apply in certain circumstances to effluent that reaches waters of the United States via groundwater. But under what circumstances? Plaintiff environmental groups argued for the Ninth Circuit’s decision that CWA permitting requirements apply when effluent in a ...

Redefining Navigable Waters: The Next Frontier of the WOTUS Saga

In the ongoing saga of the Clean Water Act’s so-called “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) announced changes to the definition of “Navigable Waterways” on January 23, 2020. Those changes were published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2020. The EPA and ACOE share jurisdiction for administering the Clean Water Act and are collectively responsible for adopting regulations for implementing the Clean Water Act. The change to the definition of Navigable Waters is the latest move ...

Governor Newsom Relaxes Key CEQA Notice and Consultation Requirements

On March 23, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-54-20, suspending for 60 days public agency and project proponent procedures for posting notices of key CEQA compliance actions.  The Executive Order also relaxes statutory tribal consultation requirements.

The Executive Order is effective immediately and applies to ...

Recent Report Forecasts Economic Hardships for Water Utilities Nationwide

As California businesses remain closed and residents stay at home under shelter-in-place orders, water utilities are at the frontlines ensuring continued access to safe drinking water. Still, it seems that no industry is immune to COVID-19’s economic impacts. A recent analysis prepared for the American Water Works Association and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies estimates that revenue shortfalls for the water industry could result in a $32.7 billion reduction in nation-wide economic activity, with significant impacts on private sector jobs and investment in ...

WEBINAR: Keeping Current on COVID-19 Challenges for the Water Industry

Please join our Water Industry Team on April 16, 2020 for “Keeping Current on COVID-19 Challenges for the Water Industry,” a special presentation as part of our 2020 Water Webinar Series. 

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted business operations in virtually every business sector, and the water industry is no exception. We are mindful of how strenuous it is for our clients to navigate these turbulent times as they continue to provide critical services to our communities and adapt quickly to new emergency orders ...

Emergencies and the Coastal Act

In the past, the Coastal Commission has taken a very negative view on any limitations of public beach access. In fact, one can say that the Commission has been downright aggressive in pursuing what it perceived to be limitations on public access. In 2014, the California Legislature effectively weaponized the Commission, passing legislation that authorized the Commission to impose administrative penalties on anyone they concluded to be in violation of a public access provision. (See Pub. Resources Code, § 30821.) Previously, the Commission needed to make a finding of unpermitted ...

Keeping Current on COVID-19 Challenges for the Water Industry

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted business operations in virtually every business sector, and the water industry is no exception.  We are mindful of how strenuous it is for our clients to navigate these turbulent times as they continue to provide critical services to our communities and adapt quickly to new emergency orders.

We have received a number of questions and concerns from clients on how the current pandemic affects the water industry, and what to expect going forward. We will be hosting a webinar on April 16, 2020 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. PT to address some of the latest updates on these issues and to help answer questions. Please click here to register.

In the meantime, the following summarizes some of the key issues facing water industry professionals, which we will address also in more detail during the webinar ...

EPA Announces Temporary Policy Suspending Enforcement of Certain Environmental Compliance Obligations During Coronavirus Pandemic

On March 26, 2020, EPA announced a temporary enforcement discretion policy to excuse violations of environmental laws in specified circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic. EPA has stated that as of Friday, April 3, it has not issued any waivers for "essential critical infrastructure" that cannot comply with environmental enforcement during the novel coronavirus pandemic. More information on what could be considered “critical infrastructure” during the pandemic is available here. Nossaman continues to follow developments regarding EPA’s ...

DOJ-ENRD Issues Policy Memorandum Ending Use of SEPs in Environmental Settlements

On March 12, 2020, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ-ENRD”) issued a policy memorandum formally ending the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (“SEPs”) in civil settlement agreements negotiated by DOJ-ENRD. SEPs are an enforcement mechanism that have been used by EPA and DOJ-ENRD to allow settling parties to agree to perform environmentally beneficial projects in exchange for lowered or even waived monetary penalties. Typically, SEPs are ...

Water Board Issues Draft Definition of Microplastics in Drinking Water

The California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) recently issued a draft Definition of Microplastics in Drinking Water and an accompanying staff report. The State Water Board will host a video/teleconference workshop on the draft definition on April 7, 2020 and written comments will be accepted until April 24, 2020. Here is the draft definition ...

Supporting Our Clients in the Wake of the COVID-19 Outbreak

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring guidance issued by local, state and federal authorities, as well as information distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. We are dedicated to helping clients address business disruptions, anticipate potential challenges and mitigate risk associated with irregular operations. We are available to assist in a number of core areas that may impact public agencies and businesses in this rapidly changing environment. Please visit our COVID-19 Response Team page to read our ongoing coverage of these issues as they evolve ...

California Water Views provides timely and insightful updates on the water sector in the state. We relay information on how water legislation and policy from the nation’s capital, Sacramento, and around the U.S. affect California’s water utilities, agencies, practitioners, and consumers.  We also write about important events, conferences, legal cases, and other key happenings involving all things water in and around California.

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