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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

States using water from the Colorado River were expected by Monday to submit a “consensus plan” for long term water sharing and conservation plans. However, according to The Hill, “the river system’s two main contingents — the Upper and Lower basins — submitted their own competing plans”:

“The two contingents sent separate submissions on Wednesday to the Bureau of Reclamation, which is overseeing the update of the guidelines via the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As part of the NEPA process, the agency must analyze proposed alternatives within an environmental impact statement (EIS).  The bureau had warned the parties that if they did not file a consensus-backed alternative by Monday, federal officials could proceed independently, with the intention of publishing an EIS by December.” 

This means that the federal government – rather than the states themselves – would make critical decisions about long-term water rights and usage plans for River. However, even though the deadline has passed, if the states do find common ground, they could still file their plan with the Bureau of Reclamation. 

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile