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California Water Law & Policy Reporter

May 2017

Volume 27, Number 8 May 2017


California LAO Report Addresses Severe Weather Damage Across

California—Calls for Infrastructure Improvements and Interagency Cooperation207

Near-Catastrophe at Oroville Dam Leaves State with Major Repair and Flood Safety Challenges—Contract Awarded to Repair Emergency Spillway209

2017 California Water Law 211


California Senate Bill 252 Proposes to Overhaul the Permitting of Groundwater Wells in Critically Overdrafted Basins213

California Assembly Bill 472 Seeks to Promote Wildlife Habitat on Lands Fallowed for Water Transfers—Raises Concerns About Calculation of Available Water215


State Water Resources Control Board Provides Guidance on Forming Groundwater Sustainability Agencies—Formation Deadline Looms217

State Water Resources Control Board Releases Draft Emergency Regulation Establishing Fees to Recover Costs Incurred Due to State Intervention under SGMA220

Department of Water Resources Currently Reviewing Alternative Plans under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act222

Delta Stewardship Council Begins Scoping Process for Environmental Review of Proposed Delta Plan Amendments224


Circuit Court of Appeals:

Ninth Circuit Holds that Federally Recognized Tribes Have Reserved Rights to Groundwater226

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, ___F.3d___, Case No. 15-55896 (9th Cir. Mar. 7, 2017).

District Court:

District Court Support’s EPA’s Interpretation on How to Exercise its ‘Residual Designation Authority’ in Clean Water Act NPDES Matter228

Conservation Law Foundation, Inc. & Charles River Watershed Association, Inc. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ___F.Supp.3d___, Case No. 16-10397-RGS (D. Mass. Mar. 24, 2017).

District Court Finds Dredging and Filling of Wetlands an ‘Occurrence’ under a Contractor’s Commercial General Liability Policies230

JTO, Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of America, ___F.Supp.3d___, Case No. 1:16CV648 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 16, 2017).


Supreme Court:

California Supreme Court Holds EIR for Project Located in the Coastal Zone Needed to Identify Potential ‘Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas’233

Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach, ___Cal.5th___, Case No. S227473 (Mar. 30, 2017).