Public entities (states, tribes, counties, districts, municipalities), farmers, industrial operators, landowners, and individuals who use the firm’s water quality group get strong advocates who can navigate the clean water permitting, compliance, enforcement, and dispute resolution process like few other firms. Somach Simmons & Dunn represents clients across the West. We represent clients before California’s regional water quality control boards and the State Water Resources Control Board. In Colorado, we represent clients before the Water Quality Control Commission and other regulatory bodies associated with the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment. Our water quality work also extends to client needs in New Mexico, Oregon and Nevada.
Our services include NPDES permit renewals (federal and state), compliance issues associated with Safe Drinking Water Act and stormwater permitting, defending landowners, companies, and agencies in enforcement actions brought by the state, representing clients in state and federal court on water quality issues, and defending entities against third party citizen suits. We have helped small municipalities assess wastewater treatment, sludge removal and sludge transportation in Colorado to comply with evolving standards. The intersection of water quantity and water quality is a thread running through Colorado water court proceedings for injury analyses.
The firm’s attorneys play a key role in developing policy and regulations by being a part of the rulemaking refinement process to incorporate practical interpretations to new regulations. We have made significant contributions on California’s water quality issues relating to Total Maximum Daily Loads, Recycled Water Policy, Bay Delta Conservation Plan, Central Valley efforts to develop a comprehensive plan for salt on nitrate, and determining the impact new requirements will have on agriculture, water treatment plants, municipal stormwater agencies, and others.
Indian water rights settlements also frequently include water quality assessments of potential water sources for settlement. The firm’s work in mediating or negotiating such settlements requires expertise and insights associated with the state and federal water quality statutory requirements faced by settlement parties.