Federal Water Quality – WOTUS Rule Updates Leave Some States in Flux

Southern District of Texas Remands Obama WOTUS Rule The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas decided on May 28, 2019, that the Obama-era Clean Water Rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS Rule), see 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054 (June 29, 2015), must be remanded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and …

Executive Order Will Impact Clean Water Act Permitting Process

On April 10, 2019, President Trump signed an executive order that alters how Section 401 review is performed under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  Currently, applicants must seek State authorization of a project pursuant to Section 401 of the CWA from the State in which the project is located. Section 401 delegates federal authority to the …

Arizona Supreme Court Clarifies Jurisdiction of Arizona Corporation Commission

On March 28, 2019, the Arizona Supreme Court filed a decision in the case, City of Surprise v. Arizona Corp. Comm’n, No. CV-18-0137-SA, that addressed the Arizona Corporation Commission’s jurisdiction in cases in which a public service corporation is being condemned by a municipality. In late 2017, the City of Surprise (“City”) entered into a …

New Mexico Legislature Passes Senate Joint Resolution 1

New Mexico legislature passes Senate Joint Resolution 1

On March 14, 2019, the New Mexico legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution 1 that, if approved by voters, would change the New Mexico Constitution to require appointed instead of elected Commissioners to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.  Under the resolution, commencing in January 1, 2023, the Commission shall consist of three members appointed by …

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Approves PNM Joining Western Energy Imbalance Market

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in a 5-0 vote approved PNM’s application to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market.  The vote granted PNM’s request for joining the EIM to be treated as a regulatory asset which will allow PNM cost recovery.  Under the operation of CAISO, it is anticipated …

10th Circuit Upholds Army Corps Approval of Colorado Water Storage Project

On November 5, 2018 the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approval to store more water in Colorado’s Chatfield Reservoir. The Audubon Society had challenged the Corps’ decision under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act, arguing that the Corps decision was arbitrary and capricious.   …

Recap and Commentary for Arizona’s 2018 Mid-Term Elections

KEY FEDERAL RACES At the federal level, 10 of 11 seats in Arizona’s Congressional delegation saw election races. The 2018 election shaped up to be a groundbreaking year for Arizona politics as hard-fought races caught the attention of the entire nation. U.S. Senate: With Senator Flake’s announcement to not seek re-election, a contentious election bid formed …