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

Endangered Species Act

Clients (Partial List)

  • City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department
  • County of Solano
  • Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
  • Klamath Water Users Association
  • Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District
  • United Water Conservation District

The lawyers at Somach Simmons & Dunn work extensively in matters concerning endangered species and are involved in cutting-edge regulatory and litigation issues concerning federal and state endangered species acts (ESA) that impact our clients’ activities and operations.  Firm attorneys are adept at advancing the interests of their clients in an environmentally balanced manner and finding resolutions that move projects forward.   

The legal and policy issues concerning endangered species regulation are challenging and dynamic, in both water resources and land development contexts. Effective advocacy requires understanding of federal and state legal schemes, and the ability to work with regulatory agencies and environmental stakeholders.  Our attorneys assist clients who may be affected by listing of species as threatened or endangered or by the designation of critical habitat.  Firm attorneys also have broad experience with species listing and critical habitat designation under section 4 of the federal ESA, and consultations and biological opinions under section 7 of the federal ESA, including system-wide consultations of major water projects.  Firm attorneys also advise on matters involving the development of habitat conservation plans and Safe Harbor Agreements to obtain incidental take authorization and regulatory assurances under section 10 of the ESA, and related state endangered species laws and conservation planning activities.

In addition, the firm’s attorneys have defended multiple actions brought against water users or wastewater dischargers under the citizen suit provisions of the federal ESA, alleging violations of the section 9 take prohibition.  These cases often involve novel questions of causation, legal precedent, and expert testimony.

Somach Simmons & Dunn attorneys also advise clients on compliance with wetland regulation laws, including section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which in turn often triggers endangered species considerations.