Mealey's Water Rights

  • December 19, 2018

    EPA, Army Corps Propose New Definition Of Waters Of The United States

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Dec. 11 announced a proposed revised definition of the Waters of the United States for purposes of enforcing the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1251(a), an action that would directly impact the beleaguered Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States," 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054, June 29, 2015.

  • December 12, 2018

    Oklahoma Federal Judge Reopens 2 Clean Water Rule Cases To Clarify Rule’s Status

    TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a motion by plaintiffs in two Clean Water Rule cases to reopen their cases (Oklahoma, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-381, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-386, N.D. Okla.).

  • December 12, 2018

    Montana Supreme Court: Ranch Can’t Reopen Water Rights Case, Substitute Itself

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on Dec. 11 affirmed denial of a ranch’s motion to reopen a water rights case and to substitute itself as an objector (Little Big Warm Ranch, LLC v. Cheri L. Doll, et al., No. DA 18-0123, Mont. Sup., 2018 Mont. LEXIS 430).

  • December 12, 2018

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

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

  • December 12, 2018

    United States Drops Appeals In Klamath River Cases Brought By 2 Tribes

    SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service on Nov. 20 voluntarily dismissed 12 appeals of a federal district court judgment in favor of two Native American tribes over the release of water into the Klamath River (Yurok Tribe, et al. v. United States Bureau of Reclamation, et al., and Hoopa Valley Tribe v. United States Bureau of Reclamation, et al., Nos. 17-15676, et al., 9th Cir.).

  • December 12, 2018

    Fish And Wildlife Regional Director Named Western ‘Water Czar’ By Administration

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Paul Souza on Nov. 21 was designated as the Trump administration’s lead official in charge of managing the Klamath Irrigation and Central Valley Project’s compliance with a recent presidential memorandum on water supply and delivery in the western United States, according to a joint press release by the Interior and Commerce departments.

  • December 12, 2018

    10th Circuit Clarifies Water Adjudication Ruling; En Banc Rehearing Denied

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 9 clarified language in its August ruling in a New Mexico water adjudication but did not change the outcome of its decision (New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer, et al. v. Nansy Carson, et al., No. 17-2147, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32161).

  • December 12, 2018

    Special Master: Mississippi ‘Burned Its Boats’ In Water Case Against Tennessee

    CINCINNATI — Although the U.S. Supreme Court special master overseeing Mississippi’s interstate groundwater case against Tennessee on Nov. 29 said Mississippi “burned its boats” by disclaiming equitable apportionment of water rights, defendant Tennessee is still not entitled to summary judgment and the case should proceed to an evidentiary hearing so the high court can rule on whether water under the two states is an intrastate or interstate resource (Mississippi v. Tennessee, et al., No. 143, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 12, 2018

    California Appeals Court Reverses Ruling On Legality Of Groundwater Charge

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Reconsidering a prior ruling in light of a subsequent California Supreme Court opinion, the Sixth District Court of Appeal on Nov. 8 reversed its previous ruling in a groundwater extraction fee case and reversed a trial court’s ruling (Great Oaks Water Co. v. Santa Clara Valley Water District, No. H035260, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7595).

  • December 12, 2018

    Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Contempt Order In Water Diversion Case

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Nov. 13 affirmed a contempt-of-court finding by a state water court against a landowner who the state says defied orders to stop his illegal diversion of water over several years, even in the face of substantial fines and imprisonment (People of Colorado, ex rel. State Engineer, et al. v. Robert Gregg Sease, No. 17SA130, Colo. Sup., 2018 Colo. LEXIS 930).

  • December 11, 2018

    California Water Resources Withdraws Certificate For State WaterFix Project

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Saying there are “unresolved issues” related to California’s Delta Plan, the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Dec. 7 said it is withdrawing its Certification of Consistency for the state’s WaterFix project.

  • December 10, 2018

    Washington State Department Imposed Illegal Water Transfer Rule; Injunction Issued

    PROSSER, Wash. — A Washington state court judge on Nov. 27 said the State Ecology Department’s application of state water law and the department’s refusal to apply a five-year grace period for water transfers constitutes a rule that has not gone through the state’s rule-making procedures (Loyal Pig, LLC, et al. v. Washington, et al., No. 18-2-00592-0, Wash. Super., Benton Co.).

  • December 07, 2018

    Vacating, Suspension Of Clean Water Suspension Rule Affirmed By Federal Judge

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on Dec. 4 clarified that his August order vacates the so-called Suspension Rule for the Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States," 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054, June 29, 2015, and enjoins the Suspension Rule nationwide (South Carolina Coaster Conservation League, et al. v. E. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 18-330, D. S.C., Charleston Div.).

  • November 29, 2018

    Administration’s Clean Water Rule Vacated Nationwide For Inadequate Comment Period

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Nov. 26 vacated the Trump administration’s attempt to delay the date of the Clean Water Rule because the agencies involved violated federal law by setting an inadequate 21-day notice and comment period (Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 15-1342, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199358).

  • November 28, 2018

    California Appeals Court Affirms Mandamus Action Against Water Project

    VENTURA, Calif. — A California state appeals court on Nov. 27 affirmed a lower court ruling that an irrigation district failed to conduct a sufficient environmental impact study of a water conservation project (Oakdale Groundwater Alliance, et al. v. Oakdale Irrigation District, et al., No. F076288, Calif. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7995).

  • November 20, 2018

    Tribal Court Proper Forum For Blackfeet Indians’ Water Compact Claims, Judge Holds

    GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Blackfeet tribal members challenging a water compact among the tribe, Montana and the United States must take their fight to the tribe’s court, a federal judge decided Nov. 16 in finding no jurisdiction over the dispute (Enrolled Members of the Blackfeet Tribe, et al. v. Thedus Crowe, et al., No. 4:15-cv-92, D. Mont., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195939).

  • November 07, 2018

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

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

  • November 07, 2018

    Mississippi, Tennessee Seek To Exclude Experts From Hearing In Interstate Case

    CINCINNATI — Mississippi and Tennessee on Nov. 2 moved to exclude each other’s experts from a January evidentiary hearing before a U.S. Supreme Court special master in their interstate water dispute (Mississippi v. Tennessee, et al., No 143, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 06, 2018

    Judge Gives EPA 30 Days To Approve A River Water Temperature Limit For Fish

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Oct. 17 granted summary judgment to four environmental groups and ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection agency to come up with a limit for water temperatures in two rivers to mitigate warm-water harm to endangered fish (Columbia Riverkeeper, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-289, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178812).

  • November 06, 2018

    Plaintiffs In Texas Clean Water Rule Case Press For Summary Judgment

    GALVESTON, Texas — Plaintiffs and an amicus curiae are pressing the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to ignore the Trump administration’s attempt to issue a new Clean Water Rule and to instead grant summary judgment against the 2015 version of the rule (Texas, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-162, S.D. Texas, Galveston Div.).

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