Modrall Sperling Law Firm

A Historic Moment in Indian Water Rights in New Mexico: Entry of the Aamodt Final Decree

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico entered its final decree in State of New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer v. Aamodt, a state stream adjudication filed in 1966 (Aamodt) to determine the rights of water users in…

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Monumental Final Decree in Santa Fe County Water Rights Suit

After 51 years of litigation, a final decree in the Aamodt case, adjudicating all water rights in the Nambe-Tesuque-Pojoaque Basin north of Santa Fe, was entered by U.S….


Executive Order on the Clean Water Rule

The Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the Unites States” (WOTUS) Rule issued on February 28, 20171 articulated the Trump administration’s policy on navigable waters, and attempted to roll back…

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Legislative Update: Water Law Developments in New Mexico

Shareholder Susan Miller Bisong will provide details on “Legislative Update: Water Law Developments in New Mexico” as part of CLE International’s Law of the Rio Grande, at La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Update on Challenge to U.S. EPA’s Waters of the United States Rule

As we previously reported in our Fall 2015 ERN,[1. See Joan Drake and Deana Bennett, The Clean Water Rule: Troubled Waters Ahead for the EPA and Corps, Energy Resources Notes, Fall 2015, at 2-6.] several industry and environmental groups have challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s Final…

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The U.S. Supreme Court Confirms You Can Challenge the Corps’ Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determination Without First Going Through a Permit or Enforcement Process

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously held that a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) “approved jurisdictional determination” (“approved JD”) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) is a final agency action judicially reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act[1. 5…


Water Rights as Collateral – Challenges and Considerations in Protecting and Assigning Value

In New Mexico, agricultural land is often used as collateral for financing.  Due to water scarcity, growing populations and competing needs for water, the value of water rights independent of the land itself is increasing and very likely will continue to increase,…

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Can You Challenge the Corps’ Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Without First Going Through the Permit Process?

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to review an appeal from a decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that found that the Corps of Engineers’ Approved Jurisdictional Determinations (“JD”) are final agency actions and are immediately appealable under the…

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EPA Assesses Potential for Hydraulic Fracturing to Impact Drinking Water Sources

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently released a draft assessment analyzing the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on drinking water resources[2. See id. at 3-1 (It should also be noted that for the purpose of this study, “drinking water resources are…

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The Clean Water Rule: Troubled Waters Ahead for the EPA and Corps

Two federal courts have preliminarily halted the enforceability of the “Clean Water Rule”[1. 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054 (June 29, 2015), available here.]  promulgated jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) to define anew “waters…

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