By Michael S. Feeley, John C. Heintz, Bobbi-Jo Dobush and James J. Chang

On December 17, 2013, Judge Evelio Grillo of the Alameda County Superior Court ordered the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to finalize regulations establishing drinking water standards for hexavalent chromium (Cr-6) by Spring 2014.  The court held that CDPH must submit a final primary drinking water standard (a maximum contaminant level or MCL) to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review and publication by one of two alternative dates: by April 15, 2014, if the Department does not determine that any of the public comments on its proposed standard requires it to modify the standard in a way necessitating a new 15-day public comment period under the Administrative Procedures Act; or by June 15, 2014 if the Department determines that it will modify the standard in such a way.[1] The OAL must then review and approve or reject the standard within 30 days.[2]  Thus, a final enforceable rule is expected as soon as May 15, 2014, but no later than July 15, 2014