Environmental Law & Policy Alert – June 24, 2020 – Update from Somach, Simmons & Dunn

June 24, 2020

Appellate Court Upholds State Water Board’s Drought Emergency Regulations and Curtailment Orders Issued for Deer Creek

On June 18, 2020, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s determination that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) lawfully adopted emergency regulations and curtailment orders during the State’s most recent drought emergency.  The regulations and orders at the center of the court’s decision were issued by the State Water Board in 2014 and 2015 during a period of severe and persistent drought conditions.  Then-Governor Brown had declared a state of emergency and signed urgency legislation aimed at expediting drought relief.  The legislation had provided, in part, for the adoption of emergency regulations by the State Water Board “to prevent the waste, unreasonable use, unreasonable method of use, or unreasonable method of diversion, of water,” or “to require curtailment of diversions . . . .”  Wat. Code, § 1058.5. … Read More
Written by Michelle E. Chester