Malaga County Water District v. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control BoardAnnotate this Case
This is one of several cases involving disputes between Malaga and the agencies involved in issuing and enforcing the permits necessary for Malaga to operate its waste treatment facility. In this case, Malaga wanted a wastewater discharge permit allowing it to discharge 0.85 million gallons per day (mgd) into certain disposal ponds. Malaga seeks to set aside the trial court's decision that the permit allowed a discharge of 0.85 mgd, arguing that the permit actually limited Malaga to discharging 0.49 mgd.
After noting Malaga's aggressive approach, the Court of Appeal stated that it was unclear why litigation of this type was necessary when alternative administrative procedures could have resolved this issue in a faster and more efficient manner. The court concluded that the primary issue raised in this case is sufficiently important to warrant the use of the court's discretion to hear issues that are technically moot. The court held that the verification process included in Malaga's permit constituted an improper delegation of authority from the Water Quality Board to its executive officer. However, the court did not reach the parties' remaining issues, because those issues were not part of the trial court's final judgment, were not resolved in the first instance by the trial court, and are thus insufficiently developed to determine whether they could either support the trial court's judgment or require vacating the entire permit issued. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.