water quality

The Surprising Mr. DeSantis

Florida’s GOP Governor proves unexpectedly pro-environmental.

There was little reason to expect much from Governor DeSantis. The GOP candidate for Governor was expected to be Adam Putnam, the Agriculture Commissioner. Instead, due to Trump’s personal intervention, Ron DeSantis snagged the nomination. DeSantis pledged to “reduce bureaucracy, eliminate unreasonable regulations and crack down on lawsuit abuse.” He called himself the #1 conservative …

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What Does Trump’s “Waters of the U.S.” Rollback Mean for California?

It might not be what you’d think.

Last week, the Trump EPA announced its proposed rule to roll back the Obama administration’s 2015 “Waters of the United States” rule (“WOTUS Rule”).  Early in his tenure, Trump had announced his intent to repeal and replace the WOTUS Rule, and the proposal is, as billed, an attempt to replace the existing WOTUS Rule with …

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The Trump Administration’s False Stories About the Environmental Protection Agency Are Meant to Take the Agency Down

Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt Distort the Facts About EPA’s Mission, History, and Success

The Trump Administration has made clear its plans to systematically dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.  Destroying the EPA will be a key element of the administration’s fight, in the words of White House policy advisor Steve Bannon, to achieve the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”  [Update 8/22/17: Bannon is out, but that doesn’t change the Administration’s …

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Let’s Get America Moving Again

Make infrastructure a top priority for the new Congress

There’s actually one policy that Clinton and Trump agree on: the need for a massive investment in infrastructure. However the election comes out, that should be a top legislative priority, combining economic, safety, and environmental benefits – and political benefits for the next President because of its popularity. It would help get the country moving …

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Of sewage spills and citizen suits

New Berkeley Law report examines citizen actions addressing sanitary sewer overflows in California

(This post is co-authored with Nell Green Nylen and Michael Kiparsky.) Every day, Californians produce millions of gallons of wastewater. We tend to avoid thinking about what flows down our drains, but how we deal with sewage is a critically important aspect of public and environmental health. Most communities in California rely on an extensive …

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Stick a Lemon In It

Are recent East Bay water troubles a taste of what lies ahead?

What makes a city world-renowned? For New York (according to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection), it’s the quality of its drinking water. Should this be so surprising? After all, what more fundamental connection does a city have to its residents and visitors than the life-sustaining water that it provides? Recent events in San Francisco’s …

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Supreme Court overturns Ninth Circuit decision that held L.A. County Flood Control District liable for stormwater pollution in a poorly-reasoned, but narrow, decision

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council.  I’ve blogged about this case before, noting that the Supreme Court’s grant of review in this case was based on a completely mistaken premise.  (If you’re unfamiliar with the case, the linked post explains in …

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The strange saga of how Los Angeles County’s stormwater pollution ended up in the Supreme Court

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council. This case involves a lawsuit by clean-water advocates to require our County Flood Control District to take responsibility for ensuring that polluted stormwater doesn’t impair our local water quality in two local rivers. The Ninth …

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Klamath dam removal bill introduced in Congress

On November 10, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced the Klamath Basin Economic Restoration Act in Congress (H.R. 3398 / S. 1851). The bill would approve two Klamath agreements and give the go-ahead to potentially remove four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River. As we have discussed previously on LegalPlanet, this set …

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Gleick’s New Water Blog

Readers with an interest in water issues should take a look at Peter Gleick‘s new blog with the SF Chronicle.  Gleick is the head of the Pacific Institute — and, I’m happy to say, an ERG graduate.

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