Peter Nichols Presents Environmental Energy & Resources Law CLE

Peter Nichols, BHGR Partner, presented on Murky Waters: State Deference or Increasing Federalism at the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources 24th Fall Conference on October 7th in Denver. Other speakers included Ramsey Kropf, Deputy Solicitor for Water, U.S. Department of the Interior and Martha E. Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The conference program noted that

“In California v. United states, Justice Rehnquist observed that, through the history of western water ‘runs the consistent thread of purposeful and continued deference to state water law by Congress.’ The Clean Water Act (CWA) offers an example, giving states the authority to implement the CWA and to control and allocate rights to the same waters that are under federal jurisdiction. Recent changes in federal regulation (e.g., ‘Waters of the United States’) and claims to water rights, such as federally reserved rights to groundwater, may shift this historical deference to states and raise important questions as to state versus federal jurisdiction.”

Panelists discussed recent changes in federal regulation and the implications for water lawyers, holders of water rights, and state authorities.

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