Posts in Water Utility Regulation.
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 ...
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 ...

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 ...

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) ...

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 ...
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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Executive Order N-29-20 Authorizing Public Meetings Entirely by Teleconference or Other Electronic Means

On March 17, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20 (amending Executive Order N-25-20 in part), which 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.

The new Order states ...

Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order Suspending Certain Brown Act Rules

Today, in light of public health concerns due to COVID-19, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order suspending certain Brown Act rules.  Among other items, the Order allows local and state legislative bodies to hold public meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically. 

The Order provides:  “All requirements in both the Bagley-Keene Act and the Brown Act expressly or impliedly requiring the physical presence of members, the clerk or other personnel of the body, or of the public as a condition of participation in a quorum for a public meeting are hereby ...

Water, Power & Fire: Coordination, Resiliency and Liability in 2020

Nossaman Partner Lori Anne Dolqueist and Associate Willis Hon recently presented Nossaman’s Q1 Water Webinar to kick off our 2020 series.  The complimentary 60-minute webinar covered the latest developments in California regarding electrical service and wildfire risk as they are relevant for water providers. Lori and Willis discussed recent Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events impacting water providers throughout the State, as well as coordination with electrical service providers, permitting requirements for backup generation, and public communications to ...

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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