Adapting to Climate Change, Inland

Managed retreat—the process of moving people and property away from the shoreline—is an unpopular but increasingly accepted response to rising sea-levels. In the inaugural issue of Nossaman’s California Water Views – 2023 Outlook, we discuss the saga of Morro Bay’s efforts to relocate and reopen its wastewater treatment plant farther inland at the direction of the California Coastal Commission. After many fits and starts, the Morro Bay plant opened in February 2023 and cost $161 million to build. The Morro Bay case is relevant because similarly situated coastal ...

Challenges to EPA’s Water Facility Cybersecurity Mandates Successful

Despite efforts to stem increasing cyber threats to water systems around the nation, on October 13, 2023, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew cybersecurity mandates put in place by the Biden administration after the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals July decision to place the mandates on hold while court actions continued.

In an attempt to harden clean water and wastewater treatment facilities from cyberattacks, the administration issued an interpretive memorandum in March 2023, that mandated adding cybersecurity assessments as a regular part of ...

EPA Finalizes PFAS Reporting Requirements

On September 28, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its rule requiring reporting of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). According to EPA’s press release, the rule is intended to “provide EPA, its partners, and the public with the largest-ever dataset of [PFAS] manufactured and used in the United States.”

EPA’s new rule is part of its PFAS Strategic Roadmap, the Biden Administration’s plan to address PFAS, a family of man-made chemicals that are becoming well-known and well-studied based on their ubiquity and resistance to breaking down naturally.... 

Posted in Events
Celebrating Water Professionals Appreciation Week

In recognition of California’s seventh annual Water Professionals Appreciation Week, we would like to take a moment to highlight the essential role of water professionals and local public water agencies in providing water and wastewater services to our communities. Not just this week, but throughout the year, we appreciate the dedication of the highly trained operators, technicians and other specialists who have continued to make sure our communities have safe and reliable water, wastewater and recycled water services amidst a drought and pandemic. … 

Controlling Contaminants, a Focus on PFAS

Commonly known as “forever chemicals” due to their ability to persist in the environment, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are an emerging contaminant of concern that the United States Environmental Protection Agency is currently promulgating regulations to address. The long-awaited adoption of an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS will bring sweeping changes and challenges to public water systems across the country. We provide insights on the on-going PFAS rulemaking process and what it might mean for the water industry … 

Biden Administration Finalizes Updated WOTUS Rule

On August 29, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their amendment to the January 2023 rule defining what constitutes waters of the United States (WOTUS) in order to incorporate the majority’s opinion in Sackett v. EPA. We have previously reported extensively on Sackett and the varying iterations of the definition of WOTUS. You can view EPA’s webpage on the amendment here. … 

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. … 

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EPA Announces Update to Civil Monetary Penalties – Impacts on Water Providers

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 ...

The Impact of Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget on Water Projects

On January 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his $297 billion budget proposal for 2023-2024, which includes a $22.5 billion budget deficit. Despite environmental/climate change programs facing $6 billion in cuts, Governor Newsom’s proposed budget includes relatively few negative impacts to water projects. In fact, the drought response and water resilience section, which includes the vast majority of water-related funding, only faces a cut of two percent, from $8.7 billion to $8.6 billion. That two percent reduction is the lowest of any environmental category. ...  

Army Corps Releases Draft EIS on Delta Conveyance Project

On December 19, 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps), Sacramento District released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Delta Conveyance Project. The Army Corps is the federal agency tasked with evaluating the Delta Conveyance Project for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Cooperating federal agencies include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. … 

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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