Meyers Nave Successfully Represents the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in Appeal Against the County of Mono in Water Allocation Dispute
Meyers Nave successfully represented the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in an appeal against the County of Mono and the Sierra Club, overturning a trial court’s decision that LADWP’s annual water allocations to ranchers leasing land from LADWP in Mono County were subject to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which would have required LADWP to conduct an environmental review before making annual decisions about deliveries of water on pastureland it owns southeast of Yosemite.
The plaintiffs argued that LADWP’s 2018 water allocation was a change to LADWP’s historic water allocation practices requiring new CEQA review. The Court of Appeal disagreed, finding that the annual allocations were actions in furtherance of the 2010 approvals of the leases with the ranchers and did not require any further CEQA review.
Of the appellate court’s reversal, Anselmo Collins, the LADWP’s senior assistant general manager of water systems said it ensures that the agency, “will continue to have the flexibility required to balance the state’s strained water resources with the needs of people and the environment.”
Amrit Kulkarni who led the Meyers Nave team on the matter said, “The court’s decision will allow LADWP to continue to manage its water resources to meet the many competing customer, environmental, and regulatory demands on LADWP’s water free from annual litigation on these decisions.”
The matter was highlighted in the Los Angeles Times article, “L.A. wins water battle with Mono County amid worsening drought.”