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Controversial BLM 3.0 Proposal Released for Public Comment

On April 3, 2023, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) published a proposed rule to promote the conservation of the 245 million acres of public lands it manages.  The proposal purports to advance “BLM’s mission to manage the public lands for multiple use and sustained yield by prioritizing the health and resilience of ecosystems across […]

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Arizona’s In-State Surface Water Resources:  Appropriable Water, Used Appropriately, Fosters Economic Development

This article is Part 3 of a series providing information about the resilience of Arizona’s water supplies during a time in which the news is dominated by stories about drought and scarcity.  As we noted in Part 1, Arizona has a very diverse water portfolio to draw on, including Colorado River water, in-state surface water, […]

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More than Just a Drop in the Bucket, Arizona Groundwater Supplies Pose Problems and Potential Solutions for Policy Makers

While the local and national press inundate us with articles about the dire nature of Arizona’s water supplies and questions about why people are even allowed to live in a desert, careful planning by water leaders over decades has created resilient responses to these challenges that are unmatched in the Southwest and perhaps the nation.  […]

As an Excellent Winter Transitions to an Uncertain Spring, How Secure are Arizona’s Water Supplies?

Arizona’s water supplies have been front page news for months.  Both local and national media have reported on increasingly serious shortages on the Colorado River and the inability of the states that rely on the River to reach consensus on how to share those shortages.  Other outlets have reported on issues relating to Arizona’s groundwater […]

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Biden Administration Considers Interrupting the “Law of the River” Status Quo

by Fred Breedlove The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has released its Near-term Colorado River Operations Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, analyzing three paths forward for managing the Colorado River in light of the potentially dire consequences if they fail to act.  The Draft SEIS describes three potential choices without making a specific recommendation: (1) do […]

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EPA Announces $42 Million PFAS Aid to Arizona

by  Patrick J. Paul According to EPA’s press release, $5 billion is scheduled for investment over five years to help communities that are on the frontlines of PFAS contamination reduce PFAS in drinking water.  The initial allotment of $42 million to Arizona can be used to prioritize infrastructure and source water treatment for pollutants, like […]

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Mining Industry on the Losing End of Two Clean Water Act Cases

by Michael C. Ford The mining industry was on the losing end of two recent Clean Water Act cases.  Stone v. High Mountain Mining Company, LLC,[1] was decided September 12, 2022, and involved a citizen suit challenge to a placer mine operating without a Clean Water Act (“CWA”) discharge (“NPDES”) permit.  High Mountain’s operations include […]

New Bureau of Land Management Guidance on Geologic Carbon Sequestration on Federal Public Lands Answers Some Questions, But Uncertainty Remains for Split-Estate Lands

by John W. Andrews On June 8, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued formal guidance[1] describing BLM’s policy for authorizing use of federal public lands for site characterization, injection, and geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) for carbon capture and storage (CCS).  BLM Instruction Memorandum 2022-041 (IM 2022-041) […]

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From Worse to Bad: New draft of “Build Back Better” Legislation Reduces But Doesn’t Eliminate New Financial Burdens on Hardrock Miners Operating on Federal Land

by John W. Andrews Everyone has heard a bad joke where the setup for the punchline is “well, it coulda been worse”.  Hardrock mining companies operating on federal public lands presumably didn’t feel like laughing when the House Natural Resources Committee released its committee print for President Biden’s proposed “Build Back Better” (BBB) legislation in […]

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Package Passes the Senate

by Amanda A. Reeve Arizona’s Senior U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema is credited as being instrumental in negotiating the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, H.R. 3684, entitled “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act (“INVEST in America Act”), as amended, that passed with bipartisan support (69-30) in the U.S. Senate on […]

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AR
Environmental & Regulatory Policy Advisor