Water Quality

As a nation, we have committed to restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of our waters. This commitment has made water quality the focus of emerging laws, competing interests and a complex web of federal, state and local regulatory restrictions.

Best Best & Krieger LLP is at the vanguard of these water quality issues. We offer our clients a seamless combination of regulatory, legal and water quality advocacy services to address new, novel or particularly complex water quality issues. Our attorneys have advised clients on water quality issues, litigating when necessary, since before the Clean Water Act’s adoption in 1972.

Recognized Authorities
BB&K lawyers are recognized authorities on key water quality questions. We were active in the Environmental Protection Agency’s development of the new Waters of the United States Rule, helping to negotiate language to exempt certain ditches, stormwater features and recycled water features from EPA’s jurisdiction. We remain involved in the multiple challenges to the Rule. BB&K lawyers are working on seminal cases and projects that will help shape the future of the water quality landscape, such as the inter-relationship between the CWA and the Endangered Species Act and integrated approaches to water quality compliance and emerging legal issues, such as the “conduit theory.” Our deep knowledge of water quality laws and our active engagement in emerging issues enables us to offer clients unrivaled water quality representation.
 
Unmatched Comprehensive Service
BB&K’s multi-disciplinary team has extensive experience in assisting clients in complying with federal, state and local water quality statutes and regulations, including the Clean Water Act and its state law equivalents, and the Safe Drinking Water Act and its state law equivalents. We are also sought after for our skills in specific water quality focus areas, such as transportation projects, and the construction, permitting, operation and maintenance of water treatment and reclamation facilities, as well as small and large water infrastructure projects.
 
As a recognized authority on water law with decades of experience, we have developed effective working relationships with the federal and state regulators and the nongovernmental entities that closely monitor water quality issues, and we have earned their respect. This benefits clients when they need to get their issues heard.
 
Comprehensive Service
BB&K water quality lawyers advise and assist public agencies, water districts, utilities and private entities regarding:

  • Compliance with all applicable federal, state and local water quality laws and regulations
  • Enforcement matters, including administrative enforcement and third-party lawsuits
  • Publicly owned treatment works
  • TMDLs
  • Groundwater quality
  • Water quality aspects of the environmental review laws and compliance with wetlands regulations
  • Water treatment and beneficial uses of recycled water, stormwater programs, waste discharge regulations, groundwater nitrate issues and groundwater remediation
  • Sanitation and solid waste management
  • Water storage and distribution
  • Legislative and regulatory advocacy

 
Our lawyers regularly appear before the federal and state regulators and in state and federal courts on these issues. We advocate for our clients and handle enforcement actions, permit appeals, citizens’ suits and other litigation.

Rebecca Andrews

Rebecca Andrews

Associate

(619) 525-1392

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Municipal Law | Water Quality
Ryan Baron

Ryan Baron

Of Counsel

(949) 263-6568

Areas of Focus: Air Quality | Municipal | Renewable Energy | Special Districts | Water Quality
Joseph P. Byrne

Joseph P. Byrne

Partner

(213) 617-7496

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Matthew Collins

Matthew Collins

Associate

(951) 826-8246

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Water
Sarah Christopher Foley

Sarah Christopher Foley

Associate

(213) 787-2560

Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Litigation | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water | Water Quality | Water Rights
John D. Freshman

John D. Freshman

Senior Director of Governmental Affairs*

(202) 370-5301

Areas of Focus: Air Quality | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Relations | Hazardous Waste | Water
Eric L. Garner

Eric L. Garner

Partner

(951) 826-8269

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water | Water Rights
Shawn D. Hagerty

Shawn D. Hagerty

Partner

(619) 525-1327

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water | Water Quality
Kira Johnson

Kira Johnson

Water Policy Analyst

(213) 787-2556

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Water | Water Quality | Water Rights
Andre Monette

Andre Monette

Partner

(619) 525-1374

Areas of Focus: Education Law | Environmental Litigation | Water | Water Quality
Danielle G. Sakai

Danielle G. Sakai

Partner

(951) 826-8328

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Hazardous Waste | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Andrew M. Skanchy

Andrew M. Skanchy

Of Counsel

(916) 551-2854

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Municipal Law | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Event Feb 9-10, 2017

Western Water Law Conference

CLE International

Press Releases Jan 20, 2017

San Diego Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2017

Congratulations to the BB&K Attorneys Recognized for their Work

Waters of the U.S. Rule to Go to Supreme Court
Legal Alerts Jan 18, 2017

Waters of the U.S. Rule to Go to Supreme Court

Nation’s High Court Agreed to Hear Challenges to Controversial Rule

Press Releases Dec 28, 2016

Former County Counsel Ryan Baron Joins Environmental Law Practice Group

BB&K Welcomes Baron as Of Counsel

Shawn Hagerty Video Bio
Videos Dec 5, 2016

Shawn Hagerty Video Bio

Partner

Event Nov 29 - Dec 2, 2016

Bringing Water Together

ACWA's 2016 Fall Conference & Exhibition

Joseph Byrne Video Bio
Videos Nov 22, 2016

Joseph Byrne Video Bio

Partner

Eric L. Garner Video Bio
Videos Nov 18, 2016

Eric L. Garner Video Bio

Managing Partner

The Future of U.S. Infrastructure and Local Control Amid Post-Election Uncertainty
Legal Alerts Nov 15, 2016

The Future of U.S. Infrastructure and Local Control Amid Post-Election Uncertainty

Post-Election Opportunities for Local Government Agencies

BB&K’s Reimagining the Cadillac Desert
BB&K In the News Oct 27, 2016

BB&K’s Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Maven’s Notebook Shares Highlights from Water Event

Event Oct 23, 2016

Water Rights Reforms - Are Changes Needed to Our Water Rights and Pricing Systems?

State Bar of California 2016 Environmental Law Conference

Event Oct 20-23, 2016

25th Annual Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite

State Bar of California Environmental Law

Press Releases Oct 5, 2016

Two BB&K Partners Named Among 100 Influential Leaders in San Diego

Partners Warren B. Diven and Shawn D. Hagerty Recognized by The Daily Transcript

Event Sep 29, 2016

Agua Caliente v. Coachella Valley Water District, et al.

Tribal Water Law's 5th Annual Conference

South Ontario Neighborhood Has Lived on Trucked-In Water for Nine Years, Here’s Why
BB&K In the News Sep 28, 2016

South Ontario Neighborhood Has Lived on Trucked-In Water for Nine Years, Here’s Why

BB&K Partner Gene Tanaka Discusses Possible Resolution of Toxic Water Issue with San Bernardino Sun

Event Sep 28 - Oct 2, 2016

IMLA’s 81st Annual Conference

International Municipal Lawyers Association

Event Sep 13, 2016

Case Study on Water Quality Driven Projects in Orange County

IRWA Orange County Chapter 67

Event Sep 12-14, 2016

Developments in California Administrative Proceedings

2016 CASQA 12th Annual Conference

California Supreme Court Requires State to Fund Local Stormwater Programs
Legal Alerts Aug 29, 2016

California Supreme Court Requires State to Fund Local Stormwater Programs

Funding Sources Potentially Impacted for Cities and Counties

Sweeping Six-Case Win For Water District Helps Secure Orange County’s Water Supply
Authored Articles & Publications Aug 24, 2016

Sweeping Six-Case Win For Water District Helps Secure Orange County’s Water Supply

BB&K Partner Michelle Ouellette Authors a Summary of Recent Appellate Victory for Orange County Lawyer Magazine

California State Water Board Extends Public Comment Period for Wetlands Policy; New Permits Likely to be Required
Legal Alerts Jul 27, 2016

California State Water Board Extends Public Comment Period for Wetlands Policy; New Permits Likely to be Required

Public Comments Due Aug.18

Water Futures
BB&K In the News Jul 25, 2016

Water Futures

Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses Changing Water Infrastructure with Best Lawyers

California State Water Board Releases Revised Drinking Water Fee Regulations
Legal Alerts Jul 20, 2016

California State Water Board Releases Revised Drinking Water Fee Regulations

Public Comments Due July 29th

Event Jun 30, 2016

Managing Groundwater in a Time of Increasing Demand and Changing Climate

Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: 2nd International Conference Linking Science & Policy

Event Jun 15, 2016

Understanding Local Groundwater Storage Potential

UCLA Water Resource Group

Event Jun 13-14, 2016

California Water Law & Policy

Argent Communications

Event Jun 6-7, 2016

Sustainable Groundwater in California

Law Seminars International

EPA Staff Divided on Allowing CWA Permits for Groundwater Discharges
BB&K In the News May 26, 2016

EPA Staff Divided on Allowing CWA Permits for Groundwater Discharges

BB&K Partner Shawn Hagerty Discusses Clean Water Act Issues

Emergency Groundwater Sustainability Plan Regulations Adopted By California Water Commission
Legal Alerts May 19, 2016

Emergency Groundwater Sustainability Plan Regulations Adopted By California Water Commission

Key Principle: Sustainable Management Through Local Efforts

Event May 19, 2016

The NPDES Permit Program: 40+ Years New

American Law Institute Clean Water Act 2016 CLE

Client Successes May 13, 2016

BB&K Secures CEQA Appellate Victory in Water Project

Six Challenges to Public-Private Partnership Effort Overcome

BB&K In the News May 11, 2016

BB&K Team’s CEQA Appellate Victory in Water Transfer Project

High-Profile Case That Impacts Water Customers Throughout Southern California Discussed in News Reports

Sweeping Six-Case Win for Water District
Legal Alerts May 11, 2016

Sweeping Six-Case Win for Water District

Court Upholds Public-Private Groundwater Conservation and Recovery Project That Will Serve Customers Throughout Southern California

New Executive Order Released By California Governor for Long-Term Water Planning Released
Legal Alerts May 9, 2016

New Executive Order Released By California Governor for Long-Term Water Planning Released

State Water Resources Control Board Releases Draft Regulation to Modify Water Conservation Requirements

Event May 4, 2016

2016 Spring Conference & Exhibition

Association of California Water Agencies

California State Water Board Set to Impose New Drinking Water Fees on Public Water Systems
Legal Alerts May 4, 2016

California State Water Board Set to Impose New Drinking Water Fees on Public Water Systems

Public Comments Due June 22

Event Apr 26, 2016

Groundwater Law Conference

American Groundwater Trust

Press Releases Apr 21, 2016

BB&K Partners Shawn Hagerty and Andre Monette Honored by IMLA

They Received an Amicus Service Award for Their Work on a Maui Water Quality Matter

Event Apr 4, 2016

Cities in Transition

Association of Environmental Professionals

March 15 Deadline Approaches For California Water Suppliers to Apply for Adjustments to Water Conservation Requirements
Legal Alerts Mar 11, 2016

March 15 Deadline Approaches For California Water Suppliers to Apply for Adjustments to Water Conservation Requirements

Climate, Growth and Water Supply Adjustments Ease Conservation Burden in Some Communities

Sixth Circuit Exercises Jurisdiction over Federal Clean Water Rule Challenges
Legal Alerts Feb 22, 2016

Sixth Circuit Exercises Jurisdiction over Federal Clean Water Rule Challenges

Nationwide Stay of WOTUS Rule Remains in Effect

Event Jan 28, 2016

Groundwater Sustainability Seminar

American Council of Engineering Companies

Shasta Lake Water Levels Subject of New Litigation
Legal Alerts Jan 21, 2016

Shasta Lake Water Levels Subject of New Litigation

Water Contractors Challenge SWRCB Order Potentially Restricting Water

California State Water Board Releases Proposed Text of Emergency Water Conservation Regulation
Legal Alerts Jan 20, 2016

California State Water Board Releases Proposed Text of Emergency Water Conservation Regulation

Public Comments Due Jan. 28

California Appellate Court Holds Groundwater Pumping Fees are Property-Related Fees Subject to Prop. 218
Legal Alerts Dec 9, 2015

California Appellate Court Holds Groundwater Pumping Fees are Property-Related Fees Subject to Prop. 218

Decision Conflicts with a Separate Appellate Court Decision to be Considered by the California Supreme Court

California’s Small Water Suppliers Must Report Water Conservation Data by Dec. 15
Legal Alerts Dec 4, 2015

California’s Small Water Suppliers Must Report Water Conservation Data by Dec. 15

Information on Outdoor Watering and Monthly Water Production Required

California Water Restrictions Could Continue Under New Executive Order
Legal Alerts Nov 16, 2015

California Water Restrictions Could Continue Under New Executive Order

Governor Orders Extension If Drought Conditions Linger

Sixth Circuit Issues Nationwide Stay of EPA “Waters of the United States” Regulation
Legal Alerts Oct 9, 2015

Sixth Circuit Issues Nationwide Stay of EPA “Waters of the United States” Regulation

The Stay Follows A Preliminary Injunction Issued Against the Clean Water Rule in August

Federal Judge Halts Implementation of Waters of the United States Rule
Legal Alerts Aug 28, 2015

Federal Judge Halts Implementation of Waters of the United States Rule

Injunction Applies Only to 13 States That Are Parties to the Case

Draft Guidelines for Planning Grants Released by California Department of Water Resources
Legal Alerts Aug 27, 2015

Draft Guidelines for Planning Grants Released by California Department of Water Resources

Guidelines Will Drive Funding Process; Comments Due Oct. 5

New ‘Waters of the United States’ Up Ahead
Authored Articles & Publications Aug 17, 2015

New ‘Waters of the United States’ Up Ahead

As the Final Rule Defining What Qualifies As "Waters of the United States" Becomes Final, BB&K Partner Andre Monette Gives an Overview of the Rule, and Its History

California Indian Tribe Pursues Rights to Groundwater
BB&K In the News Jul 29, 2015

California Indian Tribe Pursues Rights to Groundwater

BB&K Attorney Roderick Walston Represents a Water Supplier in a Case That Has Potentially Vast Impacts on Groundwater Rights. He Is Interviewed by Circle of Blue

Event Jun 15-16, 2015

California Water Law & Policy Conference

Argent Communications Group

City’s Revenue Transfer From its Wastewater Utility to its General Fund Is Justified
Legal Alerts Jun 4, 2015

City’s Revenue Transfer From its Wastewater Utility to its General Fund Is Justified

California Appellate Court Holds that Transfer Did Not Violate Proposition 218

Draft Mandatory Regulations Restricting Water Use in California Released by State Water Resources Control Board
Legal Alerts Apr 20, 2015

Draft Mandatory Regulations Restricting Water Use in California Released by State Water Resources Control Board

Expanded Tiering System; Next Round of Comments Due Wednesday

Proposed Framework for Mandatory Water Use Reductions in California Released
Legal Alerts Apr 8, 2015

Proposed Framework for Mandatory Water Use Reductions in California Released

Fast Track Ahead for Emergency Regulations

California Water Suppliers Facing Historic Mandatory Restrictions on Water Usage
Legal Alerts Apr 2, 2015

California Water Suppliers Facing Historic Mandatory Restrictions on Water Usage

Governor’s Goal: 25 Percent Statewide Water Savings

ACWA Legislative Symposium Looks at Groundwater, Prop. 218
BB&K In the News Mar 20, 2015

ACWA Legislative Symposium Looks at Groundwater, Prop. 218

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Moderated a Panel Discussion on Key Water Issues Being Addressed by California Lawmakers

Legislative Water Update
Legal Alerts Jan 15, 2015

Legislative Water Update

Conversations Among Federal Lawmakers May Lead to New Water Legislation

New Groundwater Legislation Update: Comments Recommended Regarding Groundwater Basin Prioritization
Legal Alerts Nov 12, 2014

New Groundwater Legislation Update: Comments Recommended Regarding Groundwater Basin Prioritization

Public Agencies Wishing to Dispute Basin Prioritization or Boundaries Should Submit Comments As Soon As Possible

California Takes Significant Strides Toward Design-Build
Legal Alerts Oct 20, 2014

California Takes Significant Strides Toward Design-Build

New Law Consolidates Certain Design-Build Authorizations Under a Single Statute

State Water Board Releases Draft Safe Drinking Water Plan
Legal Alerts Oct 13, 2014

State Water Board Releases Draft Safe Drinking Water Plan

Comments on Draft Plan Due Dec. 15

Governor Signs Legislation Amending California's Water Service Duplication Statute
Legal Alerts Oct 3, 2014

Governor Signs Legislation Amending California's Water Service Duplication Statute

Under Some Circumstances, Cities May Have the Opportunity to Provide Recycled Water Service Within the Service Area of Private Water Companies

Water Supply and Infrastructure Bond to be Placed on November Ballot
Legal Alerts Aug 14, 2014

Water Supply and Infrastructure Bond to be Placed on November Ballot

If Passed, Funding Available for Local Water Projects

Key Contacts

Connected Industries

Related Practices