Somach Simmons and Dunn, Attorneys at Law Somach Simmons & Dunn | Attorneys at Law

Areas

Education

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 2010)
  • California State University, Sacramento (M.P.P.A., 2001)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., 1995)

Industry

  • Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)
  • Northern California Water Association (NCWA)

Aaron A. Ferguson
Associate

Aaron Ferguson’s expertise in water law is the result of a unique combination of working on high-profile, complex water law issues coupled with previous careers as a water supply analyst and a regulatory affairs specialist. He is able to provide a well-rounded vision on the water issues that face his clients.

Although Aaron has worked on a range of small and large water rights matters, much of his recent work has been helping to address new applications of water supply requirements that have shifted as a result of water scarcity. He is currently working with a large municipality in Southern California to update permit requirements with the State Water Resources Control Board. The new operating requirements will allow the city to work with a partner water agency to provide water to farmers without having to overdraft the groundwater basin, in turn preventing saline intrusion problems.

In another instance, he helps to represent a Western power authority to implement its power allocation process. In doing so, he has wide exposure to federal and state natural resources law.

Outside of his law practice, Aaron enjoys the combination of spending time with his family, taking advantage of the outdoors and physical activity. Among his recent outings was a six-mile overnight backpacking excursion near Lock Leven Lakes with his wife and three children.

Representative Matters

Land Use

Counseled developer on water supply issues associated with development of a solar array farm on land in the San Joaquin Valley.

Drafted memorandum analyzing scope of public agency’s groundwater rights on federal land under existing easement agreement.

Drafted water supply assessment pursuant to Water Code section 10910.

Analyzed likelihood of landowner retaining water entitlement following temporary land-use change.

Water Quality

Drafted brief supporting sanitation district’s challenge to its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.

Drafted comment letter for publicly owned treatment works association regarding water quality objectives being considered by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Drafted brief opposing a petition for leave to intervene in superior court case.

Counseled client regarding potential impacts of the Delta Plan and Bay Delta Conservation Plan on pesticide use.

Water Resources

Counsels clients regarding water transfers, including development of purchase and sale agreements.

Assisted with drafting brief challenging State Water Resources Control Board frost protection regulations.

Drafted memorandum regarding potential impacts of Clean Water Act Guidance on an agricultural water purveyor.

Drafted advice letter to client regarding the nature, scope and potential outcomes of adjudicating groundwater rights in a specific basin.

Assisted in briefing a motion to enjoin a state agency from implementing irrigation water use regulations.

Drafted memorandum analyzing whether a mutual water company could be classified as a “public utility” subject to CPUC regulation.

General

Advised limited liability company whether its environmental liability can be discharged iin bankruptcy.

Drafted legal opinion for state agency regarding the marketing and allocation of power from Hoover Dam under new federal power contracts.

Drafted memorandum analyzing the likelihood of obtaining an injunction against a state agency.

Natural Resources

Drafted comment letter for client regarding environmental review of federal water service contracts.

Drafted memorandum analyzing special use authorizations for power project on U.S. Forest Service land.

Local Government

Provide ongoing general counsel services to Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District.

Advise client on accounting and expenditure of funds pursuant to repayment contract for fire department services associated with new development.

Represent electrical cooperative on various property and contract matters.

Education

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 2010)
  • California State University, Sacramento (M.P.P.A., 2001)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., 1995)

Industry

  • Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)
  • Northern California Water Association (NCWA)