RSS Feed      Disclaimer

waves header image

Bridging Intention and Outcomes

Panel discussion takeaways on the intersection of environmental justice, groundwater management and how to better include diverse stakeholders in natural resource issues. On March 24, 2021, the Groundwater Resources Association of California and California Groundwater Coalition hosted the virtual 2021 Groundwater Law & Legislation Forum, featuring a keynote address from California’s Natural Resources Secretary Wade … Continue Reading »

CEQA News You Can Use

Brownstein’s quarterly CEQA News You Can Use production includes a Regional Water Quality Control Board update we thought you may be interested in. This publication provides quick, useful bites of CEQA news, which we hope can be a resource to your real-time business decisions. That said, it is not and cannot be construed to be … Continue Reading »

USDA Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry: Request for Comments

Fluctuating water supply and reliability throughout the U.S. has the potential to have major implications for rural communities, farmers, agricultural operators, ranchers, forest owners, and other stakeholders. Adapting to this future will require changes to current operations. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently seeking public comment to inform its strategy on climate-smart … Continue Reading »

SWRCB Notifies Water Users of Potential Shortages; DWR reduces SWP Allocations

SWRCB: Notifies Water Users to Plan for Cutbacks and Conserve Water; Cuts Possible for Junior Appropriators On Monday, March 22, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Water Rights mailed letters to rights holders regarding the dry conditions in the state, advising water users to prepare for shortages. The Division of Water Rights … Continue Reading »

Increased restrictions or new water availability? What we can count on is change.

California State Water Resources Control Board Response to Climate Change in Permitting Process Deadline to Provide Comments: March 31, 2021 Climate change is rapidly altering California’s hydrology. The wet season is expected to become shorter and wetter, while the dry season longer and drier. As temperatures rise, California will see more precipitation fall as rain … Continue Reading »

Navigable Waters Protection Rule Takes Effect in Colorado

The proper definition of “waters of the United States” is fiercely debated, and debatable. The Trump administration’s foray into the definition—the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (“NWPR”)—was issued in mid-2020 and effective in all places except Colorado, due to an administrative stay issued by Judge William Martinez on June 19, 2020. That changed, however, on March … Continue Reading »

Lessons Learned in Regulating Hemp

As our population grows, California is grappling with the challenge of preserving our working lands while providing adequate housing. Development has crept into traditional agricultural land especially in jurisdictions hostile to infill development. Recognizing the vital importance of agriculture, the state, counties and cities have adopted protections, such as the Williamson Act, the Right to … Continue Reading »

Well, well, well . . . Supreme Court finds well permits not always ministerial and may be subject to CEQA

In Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources v. County of Stanislaus (Case No. S251709) (“POWER”), the California Supreme Court recently found that the long-standing practice of treating all well construction permits as “ministerial” and therefore, not requiring  review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), violated CEQA. As the Court explained, ministerial projects are those … Continue Reading »

Microplastics – They’re Everywhere!

New studies reveal the ubiquitous nature of microplastics while the California State Water Resources Control Board adopts a first-of-its-kind definition. Stemming from the requirements outlined in California Senate Bill 1422, on June 16, 2020, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“Board”) adopted this groundbreaking definition of microplastics in drinking water: ‘Microplastics in Drinking Water’ … Continue Reading »

How Tribes Can Respond To Clean Water Act Review Limits

Tribal governments may be looking for ways to enact new public health policies and assert their sovereignty in light of this summer’s two pivotal events: the distress of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its disproportionate impact on Native American communities, and protests demanding social justice, with related calls to honor Native American sovereignty. Click here to read the … Continue Reading »