Downey Brand Speaks to the Supreme Court on Stormwater Regulation

Environmental Law  

September 2012

Environmental Law Update

Last year, in Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles, 673 F.3d 880, 891 (9th Cir. 2011)), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Central District federal court's decision holding that the Los Angeles County Flood Control District had not been demonstrated to be in non-compliance with its municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit. The gist of that appellate decision was that a discharge from a point source outfall occurred as water flowed within the main stem of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers, and the District was responsible for the quality of that flowing water. The Court was apparently confused over where the MS4 ended and the rivers began, or that there was overlap between the two. Downey Brand LLP drafted an amicus curiae in support of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District's Petition for Writ of Certiorari on behalf of the League of California Cities (LCC) and California State Association of Counties (CSAC).  On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and set the merits briefing schedule. On behalf of the LCC, CSAC, and the National League of Cities, Downey Brand drafted the attached amicus brief on the merits, attempting to put context and practicality into the regulation of municipal stormwater. This case has been set for oral argument on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

The information in this newsletter is not intended to provide specific legal advice. You should consult with an attorney and not rely on any information contained herein regarding your specific situation.