Water & Wetlands

The firm has expertise in matters involving the federal Clean Water Act and the California Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, including enforcement litigation, NPDES and Section 404 permitting, municipal stormwater permits and compliance, and water supply issues. We advise clients on SB 610 and SB 221 compliance and the relationship between water-supply planning, land use planning and environmental review. The firm has extensive experience with flood control, wetlands law, and the public trust. Sample matters include the following:

photo courtesy of Roger Hooper
Restored Bahia Wetland
  • California Trout and Trout Unlimited: The firm represents a coalition of environmental groups in their opposition to the Nestle company’s proposal to construct a massive water-bottling facility on the McCloud River, which has led to Nestle’s withdrawal of its water purchase contract.
  • Water Forum: The firm served as counsel to this stakeholder coalition of Sacramento area local governments, water districts, business, labor, agricultural interests, and environmental groups, leading to a ground-breaking agreement to ensure safe and reliable water supply for the region while preserving environmental resources in the Lower American River.
  • San Francisco BayKeeper: We have successfully represented BayKeeper and other environmental groups in numerous state and federal lawsuits to enforce water quality laws, including San Francisco BayKeeper, Inc. v. Tosco Corporation, 309 F.3d 1153 (9th Cir. 2002).
  • Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency: SMW advises SAFCA on numerous water, environmental, and public financing issues in connection with its flood control planning, improvement and restoration projects.
  • Bahia Wetland: The firm helped the Marin Audubon Society save the Bahia Wetland, a 630-acre oak forest and marshland property, and assisted in the group’s effort to restore the site’s historic tidal marsh.
  • Wetlands Handbook: SMW co-authored with the Save San Francisco Bay Association the handbook Protecting Local Wetlands, A Toolbox for Your Community.