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Johnson v. State Water Resources Control Bd.

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20130
Nos. No. D043278, (Cal. App. 4th Dist., 10/07/2004)

A California appellate court held that a discretionary decision by the state water resources control board as to whether to review a regional water resources control board's decision imposing administrative penalties is not subject to judicial review. The case arose after landowners were assessed a penalty by the regional board for failing to file a notice of intent to grade property and for failing to submit information. The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act makes clear that where the state board denies review, the court exercises independent judgment in reviewing the decision or order of the regional board, not that of the state board. Further, the landowners failed to support their claim that the state board's refusal to undertake review of the regional board order violates their due process and/or equal protection rights. Thus, the lower court correctly sustained the state board's demurrer without leave to amend and dismissed the state board from the proceedings.