Supreme Court’s Murky Clean Water Act Ruling Created Legal Quagmire

Lawyers rarely agree on anything, but here’s an exception: They all say the Supreme Court bungled Rapanos v. United States, a major wetlands case, almost five years ago.

Attorneys representing all interested parties say lower court judges, regulators, the business community and individual landowners continue to suffer as a result of the confusion sown by the justices whose main job is to provide clarity in the law.

The case concerned the efforts of Michigan landowner John Rapanos to develop a property that, much to his dismay, was designated as a wetland. He hadn’t applied for a permit and was subsequently the target of U.S. EPA civil and criminal enforcement actions.

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Rep. Jeff Denham named to the Subcommittee on Water and Power

Rep. Jeff Denham today expands his influence over the House debate on water issues and his ability to address California’s water crisis by joining the Subcommittee on Water and Power in the House Committee on Natural Resources.  With a seat on the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well, Rep. Denham now has jurisdiction over many programs including the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Bureau of Reclamation.

The unemployment rates are consistently above the national average in the Central Valley. As a long time farmer in the area, Rep. Denham understands the immediacy of the water crisis and will remain committed to bringing water back to the Central Valley in order for farmers to grow crops and put people back to work.

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Water: Upbeat first assessment of year’s supplies



The rainy season isn’t over yet, but California farmers already have reasons to be optimistic about the 2011 harvest.

A torrent of early winter storms and higher-than-expected water left from 2010 prompted federal regulators Tuesday to issue an upbeat first assessment of the year’s water supplies.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the sprawling network of pipes and pumps that bring water to Central Valley farmlands and some urban customers in the Bay Area, expects to deliver as much as 100 percent of the water supplies requested.

“The new year starts with an encouraging water supply forecast, thanks to the precipitation delivered by Mother Nature,” David Hayes, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/18/BARH1HARF6.DTL#ixzz1Bh1HaBxh

Klamath River cleanup wins federal approval

The federal government has approved a state plan that calls for significant reductions in pollution from agricultural runoff and dam operations on the Klamath River, setting the stage for a long-awaited cleanup of one of California’s major salmon rivers.

The new water quality standards are intended to help restore a river once home to bountiful salmon runs but more recently known as a polluted, water-starved battleground for farmers, tribes and salmon fishermen.

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Desert hydroelectric power project awaits federal decision

By JANET ZIMMERMAN
The Press-Enterprise
 

In the future, when Inland residents flip a light switch or turn on an air conditioner, the power could come from a desert hydroelectric plant that would create and store energy.

Federal regulators are considering a license application for the proposed $1 billion-plus Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project east of Joshua Tree National Park. The 1,100-acre plant would be housed at the abandoned Kaiser iron-ore mine, near where another group wants to build the world’s largest landfill.

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Comment:

The Feds shouldn’t get involved. It’s California’s power plant and California’s electricity. We’re a big state. We can take care of ourselves.

Stimulus dollars bring recycled water to Rosemead, San Gabriel Valley

ROSEMEAD – Last year’s $800 billion federal economic stimulus package is bringing something increasingly valuable to Rosemead parks, schools and businesses: recycled sewage water.

The recycled water, treated to high levels that make it safe for human contact but not considered drinkable, will soon flow through a new pipeline to nourish and irrigate lawns and greenways in the area.

The $3.2 million pipeline was constructed by the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District with the help of a $600,000 federal stimulus grant. And upon its recent completion, it became the first recycled water project completed with stimulus funds in Southern California.

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Comment: 

The “stimulus” was paid for with money borrowed from China. Now the money has run out and the economy is crashing again. Plus we owe hundreds of billions more to China.

As to water, California can take care of itself, and doesn’t need the foolish Feds “helping” us.

Elite Science Panel Wades Into Calif. Water War

TRACY, Calif. — Scientists tasked with unraveling one of the nation’s most vexing environmental puzzles started their first field trip to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta at a fish processing facility here near one of the estuary’s major water-pumping stations.

Assembled by the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists — 15 experts in estuarine ecology, hydrology, fisheries science and water resources engineering — were gathering information for a series of reports that could influence management of the West Coast’s largest estuary for decades to come.

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