Tag Archives: Regulations and Legislation

10 Years Later: The Successes, Shortfalls, and Next Steps for SGMA

In 2014, in the middle of one of the worst droughts in recorded history, the California legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) to safeguard the long-term sustainability of the state’s groundwater supply. Under SGMA, local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) are tasked with developing groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs), which identify the sustainable management criteria

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How to Secure and Expedite Western Joshua Tree Incidental Take Permits

The western Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a species of ecological and cultural importance that occurs across large swathes of California’s desert. In early 2023, the California Fish and Game Commission considered listing the western Joshua tree as a threatened species but has not yet made a decision about whether it will do so.  However,

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7 Steps to Efficiently Identify Lead Pipes in Your Water System

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems. One of the primary sources of lead exposure is from drinking water that has been contaminated by lead pipes or fittings. Water utilities are responsible for identifying and mapping the locations of lead pipes and service lines as well as communicating this information to

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What You Need to Know to Secure Permits under the Amended 2023 WOTUS Rule

On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) issued a ruling in the Sackett v. EPA case, stating only wetlands with a continuous surface connection to large rivers, lakes, and streams are eligible for federal protection. On August 29, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended the 2023 Clean Water Rule

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How Three Bat Species Listings May Impact your Wind Energy Project

The operation of wind energy facilities can potentially harm bats, but the true extent of this danger is not fully understood. In some US regions, a significant challenge to developing wind energy is finding ways to lower the number of bats that collide with wind turbines while maintaining high power production levels. When developing or

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Western Joshua Tree Listing Status under the California ESA

On February 8, 2023, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) considered several items, including the petition to list the western Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) status review report; and comments received to potentially determine whether listing the tree as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA)

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Best Practices You Need to Know for Effective CEQA Public Noticing

Noticing is sometimes seen as the easy part of CEQA, but the CEQA public noticing process is an alphabet soup of categories and acronyms that isn’t clearly laid out in a single resource. In addition, it’s helpful to be familiar with case law that provides guidance on legally defensible notification, as well as with other

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Bumble Bees May Soon Be Eligible for Listing under the California Endangered Species Act

What is the current listing status for California bumble bees? On May 31, 2022, the Third Appellate Court District in California ruled that “…a terrestrial invertebrate, like each of the four bumble bee species, may be listed as an endangered or threatened species under the [California Endangered Species Act],” under the definition of ‘fish.’ This

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ALTA Survey Requirements: Everything you need to know for 2022

What are the current ALTA survey requirements? The Minimum Standard Detail Requirements (ALTA Standards) for American Land Title Association (ALTA)/National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) Land Title Surveys (ALTA survey requirements) were last updated in February of 2021. Often referred to simply as ALTA surveys, these boundary surveys are created according to a set of minimum standards

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Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog Listing Status under the California and Federal ESA

On December 28, 2021, the USFWS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register listing four of six Distinct Population Segments (DPSs) of the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) under the Endangered Species Act. This follows the 2020 listing by the California Fish and Game Commission of five of six clades of the foothill yellow-legged

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