News & Events


Effective Date of New State Wetland Definition and Permitting Procedures

By Procopio Partner John J. Lormon and Legal Assistant Miranda C. Barfield 

Earlier this year, we published two articles monitoring the implementation of the new State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Dischargers of Dredge or Fill Material to Waters of the State (Procedures) and the prospective impact of these regulatory changes on future development in California.

When the Procedures were adopted by the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) on April 2, 2019, it was noted that the new rules would go into effect nine (9) months after the date of approval by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).

We have now received notice that the Procedures were approved by the OAL on August 28, 2019. Therefore, effective May 28, 2020, the Procedures will govern all applications for 401 Water Quality Certifications (401 Certifications) and Waste Discharge Requirements. The State Board will offer public training and guidance on the nuances of the program in spring 2020.

The Procedures contain a number of noteworthy amendments that will significantly impact environmental permitting and project planning going forward. For more details on these changes, please see our previous articles following this topic:


For additional information, please see our previous articles (listed above) or contact John:

John J. Lormon is a Partner with Procopio and leads its Energy and Environmental Law practice groups. His practice focuses on environmental and energy matters. John provides counsel for projects requiring environmental permits to meet the Clean Water Act, California Water Code, endangered species, climate, and CEQA/NEPA obligations. He has been lead counsel for large-scale biofuels, food product and food processing facilities, desalination plants, waste water treatment plants, hotels, and a variety of other industrial, commercial, and residential developments. He also provides compliance counseling on hazardous and universal waste, Prop 65, asbestos abatement, and stormwater.  In addition, John represents clients in defending against agency, citizen, local, state, and federal environmental enforcement claims. John has provided permitting, power purchase agreements, analysis and written submittals related to CPUC integrated resource and long term procurement plan proceedings; provided advice related to decarbonization of projects, as well as counsel to energy project entity formation and financing.

Miranda C. Barfield is a legal assistant at Procopio to the Chair of the Energy and Environmental Law practice groups.