Abbott & Kindermann’s Annual Land Use, Real Estate, and Environmental Law Update

Reserve your seat for one of three seminars taking place in 2011.

In January and February 2011 Abbott & Kindermann, LLP will present its annual complimentary educational program for clients and colleagues interested in current land use, environmental, and real estate issues affecting commercial and residential development, real estate acquisition, easements, leasing and property acquisition, and mining.
Continue Reading REMINDER! Save the Date!

By Katherine J. Hart

On September 30, 2010, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1284 (Ducheny) into law (Chapter 645). Ever since their adoption, Mandatory Minimum Penalties or MMPs have created serious economic hardship for local wastewater agencies. While concerns remain about MMPs, the California Legislature and Governor granted some much needed relief to these local agencies.
Continue Reading Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Bill to Relieve POTWs of Some MMPs

By Leslie Z. Walker

In Planning and Conservation League v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (2009) 180 Cal.App.4th 210, the Castaic Water Agency (“Castaic”) succeeded in extracting its agreement with Kern County Water Agency (“Kern”), if only for a moment, from the tangles of the Department of Water Resources’ (“DWR”) Monterey Agreement.
Continue Reading Evaluation of Individual Water Transfer Not Considered Improper Piecemealing Under CEQA

From the quick fix solutions for the Delta to CEQA analysis on mitigation deferral, impact fees and the feasibility of alternatives, to the scope of the Corps permitting authority, the following legislation, regulations, and cases from 2009 (listed first by type of document, then in chronological order) will have the most impact on water supply, water quality, and land use and entitlement practice (e.g., development) in California in the coming years. And remember, you read it here first!
Continue Reading 2009’s Top 10: Legislation, Regulations, & Cases

By Cori M. Badgley

As mining companies continue attempting to lay claim to gold in the state known as “the last frontier,” environmental groups continue in their efforts stop them. At issue in Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (2009) 129 S. Ct. 2458 was the proposed disposal of “slurry” from the Kensington Gold Mine into Lower Slate Lake. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) issued a 404 permit for the “fill” of the lake, which was challenged by the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (“SEACC”), among others, on the grounds that the new source performance standards found in Section 306 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.) (“CWA”) prohibited the discharge of the slurry.
Continue Reading Alaska’s Gold Rush Continues: USACE 404 Permit Upheld by the Supreme Court

By Leslie Z. Walker

In White Tanks v. Strock (9th Cir. 2009) 563 F.3d 1033, the Ninth Circuit held the Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) had improperly confined the geographic scope of its environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq.) (“NEPA”) in issuing a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.) (“CWA”). The Court held that because the feasibility of the whole project depends upon the Corps granting a Section 404 permit, the entire project is within the purview of the Corps and thus subject to environmental review under NEPA
Continue Reading Geographic Scope of Environmental Study Depends on Feasibility of Project without Federal Action

By Glen Hansen

On February 3, 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted its long-awaited Recycled Water Policy. The new policy is intended to support the Water Board’s strategic plan to increase sustainable local water supplies. The purpose of the new policy is to increase the beneficial use of recycled water from municipal wastewater sources in a manner that fully implements state and federal water quality laws. Pursuant to Water Code sections 13550 et seq., the Water Board declared: “[I]t is a waste and unreasonable use of water for water agencies not to use recycled water when recycled water of adequate quality is available and is not being put to beneficial use…”Continue Reading State Water Board Issues New Recycled Water Policy