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, Idaho, Oregon and Nevada.
Our services include advice on state and federal permitting and compliance for wastewater, stormwater, and agricultural discharges, compliance and implementation issues associated with the Safe Drinking Water Act, 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.
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 to California’s water quality framework relating to Total Maximum Daily Loads, the Recycled Water Policy, the Bay Delta Plan, efforts in the Central Valley to develop a comprehensive plan for salt on nitrate, and determining the impact new requirements will have on agriculture, wastewater treatment plants, municipal stormwater agencies, and others. In Colorado, we have helped small municipalities assess wastewater treatment, sludge removal, and sludge transportation 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.
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.