The federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday issued a nationwide stay blocking enforcement of the new federal rule defining "Waters of the United States". For now the stay applies in all states, including California. While it lasts, the "Waters Of..." definition returns to the jumbled but familiar state it was in before the new rule took effect on August 28. Although the stay is only a temporary measure, it strengthens legitimacy and buys time for opponents of the Obama Administration's approach to clean water regulation. >>read more
The definition of wetland would seem to be self-evident: wet land. If only it were that easy in California.
From vernal pools that slowly diminish in the Central Valley heat to brackish estuaries separating ocean from land, California's topography includes some of the most varied types of wetlands imaginable. Their numbers and varieties baffle that which governmental regulations such as the federal Clean Water Act describe.
How much can one park do? That is the implicit question that environmental advocacy group Santa Monica Baykeeper posed regarding a combination passive recreation area and storm water retention facility planned in the City of Malibu. Sited near the iconic Surfrider Beach, the 15-acre Legacy Park would include a detention basin designed to capture three days' worth of storm water before diverting it to a treatment plant.
After nearly a decade of conflict, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc.'s quest to receive compensation from the County of Santa Barbara has finally come to an end with a Ninth Circuit ruling in favor of the county.
In 1999 the county had ordered Adams Bros. to cease farming on 95 of its 286 acres near Orcutt because those 95 acres had been designated as wetlands. Adam Bros. originally brought suit in California Superior Court claiming that the wetlands designation was faulty, that it decreased the value and usefulness of their farmland, and that it violated the federal Equal Protection, Due Process and Takings clauses. Adam sought damages and declaratory and injunctive relief.
Can 12 million fish be wrong? Virtually no finned critters were to be found in the San Dieguito Lagoon as recently as 2007, when bulldozers began to push tons of earth to create berms along the banks of the coastal waterway. Seven months later, in January 2008, marine biologists were astonished to find millions of baby fish – far in excess of their expectations – squiggling in the newly irrigated lagoon in San Diego County.