News & Updates from WAGLAC
October 18, 2021
The WAGLAC Winter meeting will be held in San Diego, California this coming year on February 20 - 22, 2022. Meeting details to follow.
California Department of Justice Is Investigating Oil Spill Off Coast of Huntington Beach
“California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that the California Department of Justice is investigating the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach. The California Department of Justice will work in coordination with other state, local, and federal authorities to determine the cause of the spill and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent or minimize the disaster. Attorney General Bonta, along with U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, traveled to Orange County [on October 11th] for a special briefing by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the company responsible for the spill, Amplify Energy, to discuss the emergency response to the oil spill.”
“The oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach is an environmental disaster with far-reaching consequences for our fish and wildlife, for our communities, and for our economy,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “I want to thank all our local, state, and federal partners who are working around the clock to protect the health and safety of Californians and to mitigate the damage to our environment and natural resources. In times of crisis, it takes all of us – working together – to get the job done. My office is committed to devoting the people and the resources necessary to ensure this environmental disaster is fully investigated, and we will follow the facts wherever they lead us.”
Lawyers Confused Over Water Jurisdiction After Conflicting Rulings
Bloomberg Law

“Water law experts disagree broadly about whether two federal court decisions vacating the Trump-era definition of the waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, applies nationwide as the Biden administration defines the term for itself.

'There has been a period of transition and confusion since' the August decision vacating the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule, said Kevin Minoli, a partner at Alston & Bird LLP in Washington and former principal deputy general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration.

The confusion stems mainly from at least four federal court rulings—two vacating the the Trump-era rule and two remanding without vacatur.”
Biden Administration Plans Wind Farms Along Nearly the Entire U.S. Coastline
Coral Davenport, NYTimes 

“The Biden administration announced on Wednesday a plan to develop large-scale wind farms along nearly the entire coastline of the United States, the first long-term strategy from the government to produce electricity from offshore turbines.

Speaking at a wind power industry conference in Boston, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said that her agency will begin to identify, demarcate and hope to eventually lease federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Maine and off the coasts of the Mid-Atlantic States, North Carolina and South Carolina, California and Oregon, to wind power developers by 2025.”
Feds sue Oregon over Upper Klamath Lake water releases
Mateusz Perkowski, Capital Press

“The U.S. government is challenging an order from Oregon water regulators that forbids water releases from Upper Klamath Lake to boost flows in the Klamath River. The legal dispute pits the enforcement of state water rights against the federal government’s obligation to operate the Klamath irrigation project in compliance with the Endangered Species Act.”
EPA Announces Action Plan to Address Water-Related Challenges in Indian Country

“[T]he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an action plan to strengthen the agency’s partnership with Tribes and Alaska Native Villages on water issues. Actions taken under this plan will address critical challenges and provide vital water protections to support public health, environmental protection, cultural activities, and subsistence practices in Indian Country.

‘Pursuant to the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to upholding the federal trust responsibility, EPA has developed an action plan that outlines the steps it is taking to deliver on this commitment by supporting Tribal nations as they protect and steward their waters,’ said Assistant Administrator for the Office of International and Tribal Affairs Jane Nishida.”
All summaries are posted in CWAG's google docs account, accessible through the link below. Should you have any issues with the links, contact Patricia Salazar with any questions.
No cases to report this week. 
Clay Smith, the American Indian Law Deskbook chief editor, summarizes Indian law decisions assigned headnotes by Westlaw to facilitate the Deskbook’s annual revision.

Editions of the Deskbook are published annually by Thomson Reuters, and the 2021 Edition was issued during the week of July 19, 2021. It is available on Westlaw in the Secondary Sources/Texts & Treatises category and in hard copy.

Please reach out to Clay for questions regarding obtaining a copy of the American Indian Law Deskbook.
Western Attorneys General Litigation Action Committee

CWAG oversees and coordinates the Western Attorneys General Litigation Action Committee (WAGLAC), which consists of assistant attorneys general involved in litigation related to the environment, natural resources, public lands and Indian law. WAGLAC was formed over 40 years ago and meets three times per year to discuss the latest developments in these areas of the law. AGO staff gain important contacts throughout the country in these important areas of the law.
Contributions For WAGLAC Newsletter

We rely on our readers to send us links for the WAGLAC Newsletter. If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two weeks) case, statute or article relating to natural resources, environment, Indian law or federalism that you would like us to consider for inclusion in the Newsletter, please send it to Clive Strong. For a complete database of all previously published WAGLAC newsletters, please follow the link below.
CWAG | [email protected] | (208) 850-7792 | WWW.CWAGWEB.ORG