Your authoritative, multi-channel network for natural resources and environmental information since 1989 – by practioners for practitioners.

Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter

December 2021

Volume 2, Number 3 December 2021


State of Drought Emergency Extended to all 58 Counties in California as Lack of Precipitation Persists and Conservation Efforts Fall Flat of


Study Addresses Effects of Drought Intensity on Deep Groundwater Aquifers62

California City Launches New Desalination System as Drought Response with Help from the State Water Resources Control Board64


EPA Proposes Methane Emission Regulations for Oil and Gas Opera-


California Proposes Setback Requirement for New Oil and Gas Wells—How Does it Measure Up?67


Recent Investigations, Settlements, Penalties and Sanctions70


Circuit Court of Appeals:

First Circuit Finds Agency’s Express Intention to Readopt Regulations Following Withdrawal is Insufficient to Avoid Mooting a Groundwater Contamination Claim75

United States v. Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, ___F.4th___, Case No. 19-1874 (1st Cir. Nov. 17, 2021).

Ninth Circuit Finds the Clean Water Act Allows EPA to Consider Compliance Costs in Approving Water Quality Standards and Variances77

Upper Missouri Waterkeeper v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency et al., 15 F.3d 966 (9th Cir. 2021).

D.C. Circuit Finds Agency’s Expressed Intention to Readopt Regulations Following Withdrawal Is Not Sufficient to Avoid Mooting of Lawsuit80

State of Alaska v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, ___F.4th___, Case No. 17-5260 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 16, 2021).

District Court:

District Court Holds Wet and Dry Season Inspections Are Not Duplicative in Clean Water Act Citizen Suit Cases Regarding Stormwater Discharges82

California Open Lands v. Butte County Department of Public Works, et al., ___F.Supp.4th___, Case No. 2:20-CV-0123-KJM-DMC (E.D. Cal. Oct. 27, 2021).


California Court of Appeal Upholds CEQA Categorical Exemption for Utility Project but Finds Mitigated Negative Declaration Failed to Evaluate GHG Emissions for Other Projects84

McCann v. City of San Diego, ___Cal.App.5th___, Case No. D077568(4th Dist. Oct. 18, 2021).