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California Court of Appeal

Conway v. State Water Resources Control Board, B252688

Plaintiffs petitioned for a writ of mandate requesting the court to declare the Basil Plan Amendment, which establishes the total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants allowed in McGrath Lake, void and to vacate the State and Regional Boards' adoption and approval of the amendment, on grounds that the Amendment violates the Clean Water Act, Water Code section 13360, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Further, they argue that they are harmed by the Amendment, as it will hold them responsible for the remediation of the pollution. The trial court's denial of the petition is affirmed, where: 1) the EPA approved defendant State Water Resources Control Board's TMDL as applied to the lake bed sediment, and the EPA's interpretation of its regulations was reasonable; 2) the TMDL does not violate Water Code section 13360(a) as that section does not apply on its face (the TMDL is neither a water discharge requirement or other other); 3) where lack of available alternatives is a constraint imposed by present technology and the law of nature, there is no violation of Water Codes section 13360; 4) the Board did not fail to comply with CEQA, as the Amendment that adopted the TMDLs is a certified regulatory program that is exempt from the requirement of an Environmental Impact Report, and full environmental analysis of any particular method of remediation is premature given the circumstances in this case.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/30/2015
  • Published 03/30/2015


  • Gilbert


  • California Court of Appeal


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