California Environmental Law & Policy Update – July 2022 #4 | Allen Matkins


Bullet Connected Press – July 20

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) on Wednesday canceled a Trump administration policy weakening the agency’s authority to determine lands and waters in which declining animals and plants could get governing administration protection. A single measure in the prior plan prevented USFWS from designating parts as vital habitat if there would be increased financial benefit from creating them. In a 48-webpage doc explaining withdrawal of the rule, the company explained the cancelled rule gave outdoors parties an “outsized role” in determining which places were being wanted for preserving imperiled species while undermining USFWS authority.


Bullet Marin Unbiased Journal – July 21

Marin County’s 15-calendar year previous fight over whether to restrict improvement together San Geronimo Creek to protect endangered fish could be at an close. The County Board of Supervisors gave its remaining approval on Tuesday to a suite of rules, such as the generation of a stream conservation region, that will prohibit new building within 35 feet of the creek and its tributaries, like ephemeral streams. The choice was hailed by the Salmon Defense and Watershed Community (SPAWN), which sued the county in excess of the problem in 2007 and has filed many subsequent associated court docket steps. The Marin County Neighborhood Growth Agency worked with SPAWN to create the regulations, and SPAWN pledged to fall its legal actions when they were being in location.

Bullet CBS News – July 15

The State Water Assets Manage Board has proposed a $17 million penalty in opposition to the homeowners and operators of a warehouse the place a enormous industrial hearth was found to have prompted hydrogen sulfide odors to emanate from the Dominguez Channel Estuary last yr. The penalty, if accredited, could be the major the Board has at any time imposed. The South Coast Air Good quality Administration District identified that the odors, which induced debilitating health complications in selected South Bay inhabitants, were prompted by pollutants, such as alcohols, that were being discharged from the warehouse facility. The warehouse’s house owners and operators had been considered responsible for violating the Clean Water Act and Porter-Cologne H2o Quality Management Act in link with the fire-related discharge of far more than 6 million gallons of polluted drinking water, like hazardous substances, into the Dominguez Channel Estuary.

Bullet Sonoma Index-Tribune – July 20

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will contemplate new standards for well permits at its August 9 assembly in reaction to a 2018 California appellate court docket ruling necessitating the protection of rivers and other “public trust assets.” That determination involves the allowing agencies to mitigate the impact of wells on public have confidence in means in navigable waterways, this sort of as the Russian River, such as impacts to habitat and wildlife. The proposed amendment to the county’s perfectly ordinance would create new recommendations for the county’s evaluation of environmental impacts of drilling new wells or changing more mature kinds. The ordinance might influence about one-third of properly permit apps submitted to the county, and new wells may well be subject to more costs and new products requirements primarily based on the proposal.

Bullet The Mercury Information – July 19

The Regional Drinking water High quality Manage Board for the San Francisco Bay Location introduced a settlement with the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), which operates a wastewater cure plant at Point Isabel in Richmond, California. The settlement, which consists of an $816,000 civil penalty, is the consequence of EBMUD’s discharge of 16.5 million gallons of partially handled sewage into San Francisco Bay in the course of the “atmospheric river” storm party last October. Through that storm, staff at one of EBMUD’s 3 overflow crops ran out of a critical chemical, sodium bisulfite, which is made use of to clear away chlorine from wastewater before it is introduced into the Bay. Significant stages of chlorine can be poisonous to fish and other aquatic lifestyle.

Bullet CBS8 – July 15

San Diego Unified College District desires the cities of La Mesa and National Town to help spend to observe an aged landfill positioned beneath Bell Middle School. La Mesa, Nationwide Town, and San Diego County reportedly disposed of waste at the landfill from 1962 by 1967. Vents are situated in the course of the school’s athletic subject to release methane fuel from the decomposition of the squander buried beneath, with a flare station on web-site to melt away off gasoline. In 2004, San Diego Unified filed a lawsuit to recover the expenditures of cleaning and checking the landfill. Following several years of litigation, San Diego County agreed to pay $950,000 to dismiss the lawsuit and launch it from any earlier or potential statements.

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Sherri Crump

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