Environmental Law & Policy Alerts – Update from Somach, Simmons & Dunn

July 14, 2021

Lawsuit Will Test Application of Requirement That a County Consider Public Trust Resources in Permitting Groundwater Extraction

Last month, California Coastkeeper Alliance (Coastkeeper) filed suit seeking to enjoin Sonoma County from issuing groundwater well permits until it adopts a program to consider and protect public trust resources in the Russian River watershed.  This case is the first of its kind to attempt to enforce the holding of Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board (2018) 26 Cal.App.5th 848, in which the Third District Court of Appeal held that the County of Siskiyou, when issuing groundwater well permits, is obligated to apply the public trust doctrine by considering whether groundwater pumping could adversely impact the Scott River, a navigable water. … Read More

Written by Ellen M. Simmons and Aaron A. Ferguson