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Members of Best Best & Krieger’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group were published in the November 2021 issue of the Environmental, Energy & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter. Their published analysis covers a range of recent environmental news, regulatory development, investigations, settlements, penalties and sanctions.

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

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Forecasts Drought Reduced Inflows to Lake Mead, Exacerbating Shortage Conditions
By Miles Krieger and Steve Anderson
It remains to be seen whether Lake Mead levels will continue to decline. However, the Bureau’s October forecast appears to reflect the continued impact of drought conditions on the Colorado River system. Thus, it is possible that California’s drought contingency plan contributions could be triggered sometime after 2022, with corresponding adjustments made by the Bureau to lower basin delivery schedules.

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 Vacates Judgement Requiring Clean Water Act Citizen Suit to Prove Ongoing Discharge In Case Alleging Monitoring Violations
By Rebecca Andrews and Carl Jones
This case affirms that if a prohibited discharge into waters of the United States occurred, a Clean Water Act citizen suit can be premised on ongoing or reasonably expected monitoring or reporting violations.

Ninth Circuit Decision Broadens Scope of RCRA Liability Under Endangerment Provision, To Transporters
By Steve Anderson
The Ninth Circuit issued an opinion that broadens the definition of “discarded material” and therefore “solid waste” under RCRA. The holding extends RCRA liability to entities that may be transporting materials previously discarded as waste, despite lack of involvement in the actual discarding or waste generation process. This decision may broadly affect water suppliers and distributors facing contamination issues. In addition to being regulated under federal and state drinking water laws and regulations, water systems face increased litigation risk under RCRA’s endangerment provision.

District Court Denies All But One Motion of Activities Requiring a General Permit Under the Clean Water Act
By Rebecca Andrews and McKenzie Schnell
This case provides additional insight as to the use of SIC codes to identify facilities subject to a General Permit for industrial activities. Specifically, this case is a useful tool for analyzing whether and when undertakings potentially under the umbrella of the CWA should be treated as separate establishments and distinct and separate economic activities.
Reprinted with permission from the November 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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