On November 21, 2023, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Cottonwood Environmental Law Center vs. Edwards addressing various Clean Water Act issues. Its two key holdings were that (1) the district court did not err when it rejected plaintiff’s direct discharge theory and (2) the district court did err when it held that plaintiff did not provide sufficient notice.
Direct vs. Indirect Discharge
Defendant Big Sky Water and Sewer District (Big Sky) operates three lined holding ponds to store treated effluent outside of the irrigation season. It also installed an ...
On November 20, 2023, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Idaho Conservation League v. Poe, No. 22-35978. Therein, the Court upheld its previous interpretation of “discharged” in the context of an allegation that a party violated the National Pollutant Discharge Eliminating System (NPDES) permit system under the Clean Water Act. It did so notwithstanding the defendant’s allegation that Supreme Court precedent overruled that interpretation. As a result, dredging material from the bottom of a riverbed and then discharging that material into ...
Deadlines are upcoming related to the multi-district per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) litigation. The relevant settlements are with DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva (collectively, DuPont) and 3M, parties who allegedly manufactured various PFAS chemicals. The currently-pending settlements cover $1.185 billion for DuPont and $10.5-$12.5 billion for 3M.
The litigation is focused on alleged contamination of drinking water caused by DuPont’s and 3M’s alleged manufacture of PFAS chemicals. PFAS are a family of manmade chemicals that are used due to beneficial ...
We are excited to release the inaugural issue of Nossaman’s California Water Views – 2023 Outlook. April 1st is an important milestone in California’s water year – marking the annual snowpack assessment and related drought determination. We asked a number of our attorneys and policy advisors who are committed to the water sector to identify the pivotal issues they’re watching now and for the year ahead. …
On January 6, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its Final Rule, listed at 88 FR 986, updating the maximum civil monetary penalties that may be assessed for violations of environmental statutes. This annual update is required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. This is the seventh annual adjustment under that act.
The update is designed to reflect inflation in order to maintain the deterrent effect of statutes providing civil monetary penalties, and is based on a formula that factors in the consumer price ...
On November 10, 2022, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that he had filed a lawsuit against 3M, DuPont, and sixteen other companies for their roles in manufacturing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The lawsuit seeks money damages, which could reach hundreds of millions of dollars, for damages, penalties, and restitution, as well as injunctive relief and abatement. Some consider the lawsuit the broadest of its kind brought by any state.
PFAS is an umbrella term that covers dozens of types of man-made chemicals. PFAS were used for a variety of purposes ...
On July 1, 2022 a panel of the Ninth Circuit issued a superseding opinion in California River Watch v. City of Vacaville, Appeal No. 20-16605, withdrawing its previous opinion in the same case and reaching the opposite result. The case is a rare example of a court reversing itself, and has important implications for water suppliers in California and nationwide.
In California River Watch, the plaintiff sought to impose RCRA liability on a water supplier based on the presence of hexavalent chromium in the water it supplied to customers, despite the fact that the water complied with the ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
The State of California recently sent a 60-day notice of intent to sue to the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior and concurrently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California challenging the biological opinions and associated environmental impact statement (EIS) for operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project (collectively, the “Projects”). The Projects provide water to more than 25 million water users in northern, central, and southern California, and are one of the primary sources of water for wholesale water ...
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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