Practice Area

Water Law

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

The Firm regularly provides legal advice and counsel to water districts on water rate setting issues and prescriptive rights matters. We regularly draft cooperative agreements between water districts and other public agency entities to develop recycled and reclaimed water infrastructure and to promote the use of reclaimed and recycled water, thereby reducing pressure to purchase more costly, imported water. We have developed water management plans and drafted municipal ordinances placing restrictions on wasteful water uses.

The Firm has participated in the enforcement of statutory franchise rights to secure the municipal waivers and other restrictions that would have increased the cost of expanding vital recycled and reclaimed water infrastructure.

The Firm has handled litigation impacting the Upper San Gabriel District’s weighted representation on the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster Board and also assisted the District in finalizing its redistricting efforts while also defending the Upper District in a Voting Rights Act enforcement action initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Members of the Firm were also involved with the formation of the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority, and played a central role in the drafting of stakeholder agreements and the Authority’s Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement executed between the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, the Central Basin Municipal Water District, the San Gabriel Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, and the County of Los Angeles.

The Firm has served as General Legal Counsel to Central Basin Municipal Water District, and as assistant to the Upper San Gabriel District’s General Legal Counsel during meetings of the Board of Directors and its various subcommittees. The Firm’s members have also participated in deliberations by the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority and the Groundwater Replenishment Improvement Program (the “GRIP”) to improve water quality.

Members of the Firm have also successfully negotiated cleanup standards and consent orders with both the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) at numerous major Superfund sites. We have participated in negotiations with the DTSC in the resolution of numerous alleged violations of the hazardous waste laws on behalf of a wide range of clients.

The Firm’s experience extends to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance; Hazardous Waste enforcement and compliance matters related to industrial manufacturing facilities; Toxic Release Inventory alleged; and Proposition 65. Additional litigation experience includes environmental cost recovery prosecution and defense, and toxic tort defense. 

OMLO attorneys have considerable experience counseling clients regarding compliance with environmental statutes and regulations, cost-recovery and remediation of contaminated properties, hazardous waste clean-up projects, regulatory agency requirements, insurance coverage for environmental claims, and environmental issues in real property and corporate transactions.

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If you require assistance within one of our practice areas or would like to inquire about our broad-based services, please contact us.