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Several members of Best Best & Krieger’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group were published in the December 2021 issue of the Environmental, Energy & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter. Their published analysis covers a range of recent environmental investigations, settlements, penalties and judicial developments.

Article overviews and excerpts are below. The complete December issue can be found here.

Study Addresses Effects of Drought Intensity on Deep Groundwater Aquifers
By Miles Krieger and Steve Anderson
The study provides a broad observation analysis of the relationship between drought characteristics and groundwater response, as well as how geographical properties may impact groundwater response to drought. According to the study, for much of the United States, deep groundwater levels are most likely to be impacted by the intensity of droughts, which may prolong recovery times for groundwater levels absent human management efforts. This may underscore the role active groundwater management plays in maintaining groundwater supplies, including maximizing recharge activities following prolonged droughts.

Recent Investigations, Settlements, Penalties and Sanctions
By Andre Monette
Discusses recent investigations and outcomes in matters involving air quality, water quality, chemical regulation and hazardous waste.

Ninth Circuit Finds the Clean Water Act Allows EPA to Consider Compliance Costs In Approving Water Quality Standards and Variances
By Rebecca Andrews
This case sees the Ninth Circuit apply the Chevron two-step framework to uphold EPA’s regulatory interpretation of the CWA – that economic costs may properly be considered in evaluating a variance from the CWA’s water quality standards.

District Court Holds Wet and Dry Season Inspections Are Not Duplicative in Clean Water Act Citizen Suit Cases Regarding Stormwater Discharges
By Anya Kwan and Rebecca Andrews
Although this order is not binding on other courts, it highlights the reasonableness of citizens seeking wet weather site inspections under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 in a Clean Water Act citizen suit alleging stormwater discharge violations and the need for reasonable and well-articulated objections to such an inspection request.

Reprinted with permission from the December issue of the Law and Regulation Reporter, Copyright © 2021, Argent Communications Group (ACG). All rights reserved. No further reproduction or dissemination is permitted without separate consent from ACG, 530-852-7222 or

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