Steve Anderson works on water rights, groundwater, wetlands, in-lieu fee program, endangered species, environmental mitigation, conservation easements and other natural resource law matters. As a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP, Steve is a member of the firm’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources, Special Districts and Municipal Law practice groups.
Steve is regularly involved in water issues faced by public agencies and private clients across California, including water rights disputes, groundwater, recycled water, water diversions and reporting, drought impacts on water supply, implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, water bonds (Proposition 1), water supply assessments, wastewater and integrated water planning. Steve routinely drafts water rights opinions and contracts involving water supplies.
General Counsel Practice
Steve serves as general counsel to water districts, court-appointed watermasters, resource conservation districts and other special districts. In this capacity, Steve works on Brown Act, conflict of interest, contracting, grant funding, employment, transactional and other public agency governance issues, in addition to natural resource law matters.
CWA, ESA and More
Steve also assists public and private entities with Section 404 wetlands permitting, in-lieu fee programs, mitigation banking and other federal Clean Water Act issues. He helps clients in complying with Section 7 consultation requirements, habitat conservation planning and conservation banking issues under the federal Endangered Species Act Steve routinely interacts with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Regional Water Quality Control Boards and other state and federal regulatory agencies on permitting for infrastructure development and other public and private projects.
Steve represents public and private clients in administrative proceedings and civil litigation in state and federal courts involving the Delta, the Colorado River, State Water Resources Control Board orders, the ESA, the CWA, the California Endangered Species Act, the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act and other laws.
Steve regularly makes presentations on water, endangered species, CWA, mitigation and land conservation issues at local, regional and statewide conferences. Steve has taught courses on the ESA and habitat conservation planning at the University of California, Riverside. He also frequently drafts articles on the ESA and California water law issues for state and national publications.
Before joining BB&K, Steve served as a judicial law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court.
Steve also serves as a volunteer attorney and board member of the Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association legal aid project, a nonprofit that provides free legal services to the under-served. He is admitted to practice in the State of California.
Sample Recent Matters
- Represented public water agency in dispute over local surface water supplies; litigation settled on favorable terms.
- Secured approval for the first Army Corps/EPA in-lieu fee program approved in the Los Angeles District under the 2008 CWA Mitigation Rule.
- Represented coalition of water agencies in endangered fish species litigation related to Delta water supplies.
- Assisted resource conservation districts and nonprofit land trust to place into conservation thousands of acres of protected riparian habitat and uplands.
- Helped vineyard owner in dispute with uphill neighbor over groundwater pumping.
- Prepared water rights opinion in support of multi-million dollar real estate transaction.
- University of California, Hastings, J.D.
- University of California, San Diego, B.A.