California Regulators Set to Upend Vapor Intrusion Assessment and Mitigation
January 22, 2019 / Morgan Gilhuly and Dave Metres
Real estate development and environmental cleanups will take longer and be more expensive under new vapor intrusion guidance expected from California environmental agencies. “Vapor intrusion” is the movement of chemical contaminants from groundwater or soil into indoor air. The radon gas found in many homes in the United States is an example of one type of vapor intrusion, but there are many other contaminants that are capable of getting into indoor air. In 2013, US EPA began to...
What Your Company Needs to Know About the New Prop 65 Regulations
February 5, 2018 / Julia Graeser, Dave Metres, and Morgan Gilhuly
By now, you may have heard that California has issued new Proposition 65 regulations that will go into effect on August 30, 2018. Your company has seven months left to prepare. Because complying with Prop 65 can be a complex process, it makes sense to develop a compliance plan now. The price of non-compliance may be a lawsuit by a private enforcer. The new regulations make a number of changes to the existing warning requirements. This post will highlight the most important changes and explain...
New Draft Prop. 65 Warning Regulations: What Manufacturers and Suppliers Need to Know
December 3, 2015 / Brian Haughton and Julia Graeser
On November 24, 2015, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued proposed revisions to its January 15, 2015 draft Prop. 65 warning regulations. 27 CCR §§25600 et seq. The full text of the new draft regulations was published by the Office of Administrative Law on November 27. OEHHA’s November draft proposes several changes to the January version, two of which stand out as significant. 1. Out With The “Dirty Dozen” Existing...
New California Laws Will Ease Groundwater Right Battles, Yet Encourage More Litigation
October 9, 2015 / Dave Metres
On October 9, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two bills aimed at making groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. The new laws—companion bills AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226 (Pavley)—streamline California’s onerous groundwater adjudication process, which can drag on for decades. Such adjudications comprehensively establish groundwater right allocations for all users in a covered groundwater basin and, up to now, have been governed by common law...
New California Groundwater Laws Portend More Litigation, But Faster Resolution
September 17, 2015 / Dave Metres
Last week, the California Legislature sent two important bills on groundwater to Governor Jerry Brown for signature. The bills promise to revamp California’s complicated, lengthy, and arduous judicial process for adjudicating rights to groundwater, and to make the adjudication process comport with 2014’s pathbreaking law governing California groundwater. But as the new laws would speed the judicial process to comprehensively establish all groundwater rights in particular basins, the...
State Water Board Extends Storm Water Permit Deadline to Aug. 14
July 6, 2015 / Dave Metres
On Wednesday, July 1, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced it would extend the deadline for enrolling under the new Industrial General Permit (IGP) for Storm Water Discharges (Permit No. 2014-0057-DWQ) until close of business on Friday, August 14, 2015. The SWRCB also pushed back the deadline for submittal of 2014-15 annual storm water reports under the now-expired 1997 IGP (Permit No. 97-03-DWQ) to August 14. The SWRCB blamed “ongoing technical...
Landowners, Developers Win Big In Wetlands Case
April 16, 2015 / Josh Bloom and Dave Metres
Building on a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Eighth Circuit ruled on April 10th that Clean Water Act jurisdictional determinations made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be challenged in a “pre-enforcement” context. Hawkes Co., Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 13-3067, __ F.3d __, (8th Cir. April 10, 2015). The decision will provide project developers and landowners with a powerful tool for ensuring that regulators do not intrude on projects over which they...
Ninth Circuit Addresses Several CERCLA Issues of First Impression in the Circuit
April 7, 2015 / Rick Coffin, Marc Zeppetello, and Sherry Jackman
In AmeriPride Services Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas Inc., the Ninth Circuit examined several issues under CERCLA, some of which were issues of first impression in the Circuit, including: whether a district court must apply a specific method of allocating the set-off for settlements between private CERCLA parties, whether a party’s right to seek contribution for costs paid in third-party settlements requires an independent analysis of whether the settlement costs were...
Supreme Court Denies Review of Ninth Circuit Delta Smelt Decision
January 14, 2015 / Dave Metres
On Monday, January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied two petitions seeking review of a Ninth Circuit decision upholding limits on water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect the endangered Delta smelt. Several petitioners, including Westlands Water District, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and other agricultural interests and water utilities, had sought review of a March 2014 Ninth Circuit decision that upheld the “reasonable and...
DTSC’s Lien Procedure Found to Violate Due Process
December 4, 2014 / Stephen C. Lewis and Sherry Jackman
In Van Horn v. Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”), a California Court of Appeal found that DTSC’s procedure for imposing liens on property under the California “Superfund” law violates due process of law. Specifically, the court noted that DTSC’s procedure fails to allow an affected landowner to dispute the amount of a lien, the extent of property burdened by the lien, and the characterization of the landowner as a responsible party. Applying a seminal...