Water Law & Natural Resources
Varin Thomas has considerable depth and breadth in its water rights, natural resources, and environmental practice.
Administrative proceedings before the Idaho Department of Water Resources, such as applications for new water permits, applications to transfer water rights, and applications to lease or rent water rights from the State Water Supply Bank.
Pursuing water right claims and pursuing contested subcases in water right adjudications, such as the Snake River Basin Adjudication and the current adjudications in north Idaho.
We assist water users and landowners with all manner of representation involving water rights, including:
- Administrative proceedings before the Idaho Department of Water Resources, such as applications for new water permits, applications to transfer water rights, and applications to lease or rent water rights from the State Water Supply Bank.
- Pursuing water right claims and pursuing contested subcases in water right adjudications, such as the Snake River Basin Adjudication and the current adjudications in north Idaho.
- Assisting clients in transactions involving water rights, including investigation of water rights prior to the transaction, drafting of transaction documents to ensure the water rights are properly conveyed, and consideration of post-transaction water right issues.
Ditch and Well Disputes
With Idaho’s vast network of irrigation canals, lateral ditches, and drainage ditches, disputes are bound to arise over the use, operation, and maintenance of those facilities. Varin Thomas LLC attorneys have extensive experience in advising clients regarding their rights and responsibilities with respect to irrigation delivery and drainage facilities. And, while litigation is typically a last resort, Varin Thomas LLC attorneys also have significant experience in litigating disputes over irrigation ditches, as well as other types of easements and rights-of-way.
Many Idahoans receive water for household use from an individual domestic well. In a shared well situation, it is always best for the water users to prepare and sign a good well sharing agreement, and Varin Thomas LLC attorneys can assist you in that regard. And, when disputes arise over the sharing of a well, or when one well is potentially interfering with another well, Varin Thomas LLC can litigate those disputes on your behalf.
Environmental Permitting, Compliance, and Contamination
Environmental laws and regulations today are extremely complex. Varin Thomas LLC attorneys have assisted clients in a variety of matters involving state and federal environmental law, including hazardous waste and used oil management, cleanup of hazardous substances and other contamination, storm water management, permitting issues under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, enforcement actions, and contested administrative proceedings before the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
Idaho has one of the highest concentrations of public land in the United States. Therefore, many private projects require permits, leases, rights-of-way, and other approvals of the federal and state land management agencies, such as the BLM and the Idaho Department of Lands. Varin Thomas LLC has represented a variety of clients on public land issues, including agricultural producers, wind farms, guest lodges and resorts, and mining companies. Varin Thomas LLC attorneys also have experience in efforts to acquire fee simple title to public lands, through land exchanges and purchases.
Mining, Oil & Gas
Mineral leases and oil & gas leases are unique and potentially complicated agreements that frequently require the input of an attorney. Varin Thomas LLC has experience in successfully negotiating leases and related agreements on behalf of both producers and landowners. Varin Thomas LLC attorneys also have experience investigating mineral title and addressing complicated title issues and defects. While Idaho has a long history of mining, oil & gas production is relatively new to the state. Varin Thomas attorneys are privileged to have assisted clients in the negotiation of oil & gas leases in the Western Idaho Basin.
We believe that providing excellent legal service is only the starting point. We respect the profoundly human context of what we do and so we continually improve our technology and business processes to meet your needs and change your expectations of what a law firm can be.