Mealey's Water Rights

  • June 09, 2020

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

    New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.

  • June 09, 2020

    New Mexico Ranchers Ask Court To Enjoin ‘Intermittent’ From 2020 Clean Water Rule

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A cattle rancher association on May 26 asked a New Mexico federal court to enjoin a reference in the 2020 Clean Water Rule to “intermittent” waters (New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-988, D. N.M.).

  • June 09, 2020

    California Federal Court To Weigh Clean Water Rule Injunction At June 18 Hearing

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 19 scheduled a hearing for June 18 on a motion by 17 states for a preliminary injunction or stay of the 2020 Clean Water Rule, a ruling that could affect the June 22 effective date of the Trump administration’s long-sought rule (California, et al. v. Andrew R. Wheeler, et al., No. 20-3005, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 09, 2020

    Judge Denies Dismissal Of States’ Endangered Species Case Against United States

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 18 denied a motion by the United States to dismiss a lawsuit by 19 states, the District of Columbia and New York City challenging regulatory changes they say would weaken protection by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S. Code, § 1531 et seq. (California, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 19-6013, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 09, 2020

    EPA, Army Corps Ask For Deference In Opposing Clean Water Rule Injunction

    DENVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on June 8 told a Colorado federal court that their evaluation of scientific evidence and interpretation of the Clean Water Act should be given deference in opposition to a motion to enjoin the effective date of the administration’s latest Clean Water Rule (Colorado v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-1461, D. Colo.).

  • June 09, 2020

    Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Water Diversion Ruling, $92,000 Civil Penalty

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on June 8 affirmed a state water court’s grant of summary judgment and imposition of $92,000 in civil penalties against a landowner the court found illegally diverted water to three ponds (Colorado, ex rel. Kevin G. Rein, et al. v. Steven J. Jacobs, Jr., et al., No. 220 CO 50, Colo. Sup., 2020 Colo. LEXIS 539).

  • June 09, 2020

    Arizona Federal Court Denies Jurisdictional Challenge In Tribe’s Groundwater Suit

    TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona federal judge on May 12 said the court has jurisdiction under two federal laws over six plaintiffs who are being sued by a Native American tribe over their use of underground water ostensibly flowing from the Gila River (Gila River Indian Community v. Joyce Cranford, et al., No. 19-407, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89584).

  • June 08, 2020

    California Water District Stipulates To $3.43M In Fees For Endangered Species Case

    LOS ANGELES — Three environmental groups and a California water district on May 27 stipulated to a revised schedule under which the district will pay the plaintiffs $3.43 million in attorney fees, costs and interest after a bench trial enjoined district water management practices that were threatening an endangered fish (Wishtoyo Foundation, et al. v. United Water Conservation District, No. 16-3869, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 05, 2020

    Utah High Court: Trust Isn’t City ‘Inhabitant,’ Isn’t Entitled To Water Service

    SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court on May 18 affirmed two lower court rulings that a real estate trust is not an inhabitant of Salt Lake City because its property is within the city’s water district and that city is not obligated to provide water service that would foster housing development by the trust (Salt Lake City Corporation, et al. v. Mark C. Haik, et al., No. 20190091, Utah Sup., 2020 Utah LEXIS 95).

  • June 03, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court To Consider Water Takings Petition At June 18 Conference

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 2 listed an appeal petition alleging federal taking of water in favor of Native American tribes for consideration at the court’s June 18 conference (Lonny E. Baley, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 19-1134, U.S. Sup.).

  • May 12, 2020

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

    New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.

  • May 12, 2020

    Water Rights Group Sues California Law Firm For Malicious Prosecution

    YREKA, Calif. — A grassroots organization and eight people on April 20 sued a California law firm for filing a malicious strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) lawsuit on behalf of a wood products manufacturer to silence their opposition to the company’s alleged water dealings with the City of Weed, Calif. (Water for Citizens of Weed California, et al. v. Curchwell White LLP, et al., No. CVCV20-387, Calif. Super., Siskiyou Co.).

  • May 12, 2020

    Judge Won’t Dismiss Enviros’ Suit Alleging Dam Releases Kill Endangered Trout

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 17 denied motions to dismiss two environmental groups’ lawsuit alleging that the United States is operating the Twitchell Dam in a manner that causes an unlawful “take” (kill) of Southern California steelhead trout in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper, et al. v. Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District, et al., No. 19-8696, C.D. Calif.).

  • May 12, 2020

    5 10th Circuit Judges Dissent, Say Court Should Rehear Riparian Boundary Case

    DENVER — Five judges of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 10 dissented about the denial of an en banc rehearing because only two surviving members of an original panel voted against rehearing the case that the circuit chief judge calls “a panel decision that could single handedly dry up thousands of acres of irrigated Wyoming farmland” (C. Mark Cupps, et al. v. Pioneer Canal-Lake Hattie Irrigation District, No. 18-8024, 10th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 11736).

  • May 12, 2020

    8 Conservation Groups Sue EPA, Army Corps To Invalidate New Clean Water Rule

    BOSTON — Eight conservation organizations on April 29 sued the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking an order by the Massachusetts federal court that the agencies violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Water Act in finalizing their latest version of a Clean Water Rule (Conservation Law Foundation, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-10820, D. Mass.).

  • May 12, 2020

    Army Corps, EPA Publish Replacement For Clean Water Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency on April 21 published their latest attempt to repeal and rewrite the Clean Water Rule.

  • May 12, 2020

    Reclamation Bureau Enjoined From Using 2019 Biological Opinions In Dam Operations

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 11 issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from operating the Central Valley Project according to two disputed 2019 biological opinions (BiOps) from using a final environmental impact statement that is inconsistent with a 2009 BiOp for operation of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project (California Natural Resources Agency, et al. v. Wilbur Ross, et al., No. 20-426, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, et al., No. 20-431, E.D. Calif.).

  • May 12, 2020

    Wisconsin Tribe Loses Rehearing Bid In Quest For EPA Mine Permitting Review

    CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 8 denied a Wisconsin Indian tribe’s petition for rehearing, letting stand the panel’s ruling that there was no reviewable final agency action on the tribe’s requests to the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to exercise federal jurisdiction over a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit for a mining operation (Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-1130, 7th Cir.).

  • May 12, 2020

    California Appeals Court Reverses Ruling Denying Riparian Water Rights

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court panel on May 7 reversed a trial court ruling that a landowner’s riparian rights to water in the state’s delta region are no longer valid (Modesto Irrigation District v. Heather Robinson Tanaka, No. C083430, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 388).

  • May 11, 2020

    Nevada State Judge Says State Engineer’s Groundwater Plan Is Arbitrary, Capricious

    EUREKA, Nev. — A Nevada state court judge on April 27 said a state engineer’s order allowing the creation of Nevada’s first groundwater management plan (GMP) is arbitrary and capricious because it infringes on existing water rights and gives advantages to property owners who have not perfected their water rights (Timothy Lee Bailey, et al. v. Tim Wilson, P.E., et al., No. CV-1902-348, Nev. Dist., Eureka Co.).

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