Water Resources

           In 2000, Mr. Lippe designed a legal strategy for the Sierra Club to challenge water rights permit applications in the Napa River drainage submitted by land owners to the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) to withdraw stream waters for irrigation and other consumptive uses, primarily for vineyard conversions.  This program has been extremely successful at the administrative level in preventing the State Board from approving new water appropriation permits in the Napa River drainage.  In 2002, the Sierra Club stopped prosecuting this program, and it has been continued by Earth Defense for the Environment Now (“EDEN”) to the present time.

          The firm has also prosecuted cases to enforce the federal Clean Water Act.  In 1999-2000, the firm, acting as co-counsel with Earthjustice, represented San Francisco Baykeeper in a federal court action to enforce the State of California’s obligation to establish Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of pollutants in waters of the state designated “impaired” under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.

         From 2001-2003, the firm, again representing San Francisco Baykeeper, successfully challenged storm water permits issued by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board to San Mateo and Contra Costa counties pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act and the state Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act.


The Law Offices of Thomas N. Lippe, APC
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San Francisco, CA 94107

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