On April 19, 2024, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a pre-publication notice regarding its designation of two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (“PFAS”) compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. EPA’s rule, for the first

On April 4, 2024, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published an Order Issuing Stay of rules promulgated on March 6, 2024 requiring registrants to provide certain climate-related information in future registration statements and annual reports (Final Rule). The stay responds to litigation filed in the Fifth and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals seeking

UPDATE [4/5/2024]:  The Commission has determined to exercise its discretion to stay the Final Rules pending the completion of judicial review of the consolidated Eighth Circuit petitions.  Click here for more information.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) finalized its climate change disclosure rule on March 6, 2024, reducing the final disclosure obligations from the initial proposal after thousands of comments from stakeholders. The final rule requires comprehensive and standardized climate-related disclosures, including disclosure on governance, business strategy, targets and goals, GHG emissions, risk management, and the effects of climate change on financial metrics. This additional disclosure is intended to help investors assess material risks in climate-related reporting and facilitate comparisons across firms and over time with respect to climate-related metrics. 

For issuers subject to the new disclosure requirements, compliance with the final rule will present practical challenges, such as coordination among internal and external subject matter experts in the legal, accounting, science, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) fields; data tracking, collection, and verification; reconciliation of data reported to satisfy mandatory disclosure requirements and voluntary reporting commitments, like those covered by sustainability reports; and oversight to ensure disclosures satisfy both the new SEC rules and the increasing non-regulatory scrutiny from investors and watchdogs, like International Shareholder Services (ISS). These challenges will necessitate significant additional costs to prepare compliant disclosures.Continue Reading The New SEC Climate Disclosure Rule Will Drive Risk Mitigation and Value Creation

Consider these three statements: I experience odor or discoloration in my tap water, English is not the primary language spoken in my home, and I live near industrial activity.

Now, consider these statements: The organization that I work for can access environmental subject matter experts, the organization that I work for has influence in the

On June 22, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Arizona v. Navajo Nation, No. 21-1484, limiting the federal government’s obligation to affirmatively secure water for federally recognized Indian tribes. The Supreme Court held that the 1868 treaty establishing the Navajo Reservation (the “Treaty”) “did not require the United States to take

The State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) is in the final stages of developing a revised Statewide Construction Stormwater General Permit (“Construction Stormwater General Permit” or “Permit”).  The State Water Board is currently accepting public comments on a limited set of revisions to the draft Construction Stormwater General Permit, has noticed one last public workshop to discuss the contents of the proposed Permit, and has scheduled a hearing to consider adoption of the proposed Permit.  Important dates are as follows:Continue Reading State Water Board to Consider Adoption of proposed Statewide Construction Stormwater General Permit at September 8, 2022 Meeting

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) is now receiving public comments on certain components of its revised proposed statewide National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Construction Stormwater General Permit (“Construction Stormwater General Permit”).

The first draft Construction Stormwater General Permit was released by the Water Board on May 28, 2021, following Staff’s preliminary draft released in November 2020 and consideration of public comments raised in public workshops held in December 2020.  A revised proposed draft Construction Stormwater General Permit was released on March 30, 2022.  Water Board Staff is now accepting comments on the following items in the revised draft Permit:

  • Anti-degradation findings set forth in Order, Findings 9-18;
  • Regulatory transition requirements set forth in Order, Section III.C;
  • Sediment-based numeric effluent limitations for 14 pollutants as set forth in total maximum daily load (“TMDL”) implementation requirements in Attachment H section I.G.5, and the Fact Sheet sections I.G.5.g and I.W.6.g; and
  • Nitrogen-based nutrient numeric action levels for the Los Angeles Area Lakes TMDL, the Los Angeles River Nutrients TMDL, the Santa Clara River Nitrogen Compounds TMDL, and the Ventura River Algae TMDL in Table H-2 of Attachment H, and in Fact Sheet sections I.G.5.d and I.W.6.d.

Continue Reading State Water Board Receiving Limited Comments on Its Proposed Reissuance of the Statewide NPDES Construction Stormwater General Permit; Will Consider Adoption At July 19, 2022 Meeting

Last month, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region (“Central Valley Water Board”) published a Food Safety Project White Paper (“White Paper”) on the use of oil field produced water for food crop irrigation. The White Paper did not find any evidence that using produced water for irrigation creates an elevated threat to human or crop safety.
Continue Reading White Paper Finds No Evidence of Elevated Threat to Human or Crop Safety from Use of Oil Field Produced Water to Irrigate Crops

On June 10, 2021, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) issued a Revised Public Notice that changed certain dates noted in our June 2, 2021 blog post.  The Water Board’s public hearing to receive public comments on the draft Construction Stormwater General Permit reissuance is now scheduled to occur at 9:00 a.m. on

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) is now receiving public comments on its proposed reissuance of the statewide National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Construction Stormwater General Permit (“Construction Stormwater General Permit”).

I.     Background

The Construction Stormwater General Permit regulates discharges to waters of the United States from stormwater and authorized non-stormwater associated with construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land, or are part of a common plan of development or sale that disturbs one or more acre of land surface.  California’s previous Construction Stormwater General Permit expired in September 2014 but has been administratively extended until a reissued permit is adopted.
Continue Reading State Water Board Now Receiving Public Comments on Its Proposed Reissuance of the Statewide NPDES Construction Stormwater General Permit

As a follow-up to our March 11, 2021 blog post, as part of implementation of its Final Adopted Winery General Order, the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB” or “Board”) announced that it will be holding a second Winery General Order Fees Stakeholder Meeting on April 28 from 1:00-3:00 PM via Webcast.