Pearl Kan

  • Hosted by California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.
  • Sponsored by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Service location Salinas, California
  • Law school University of California, Davis School of Law
  • Issue area Environmental Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2013
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Pearl created community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and legal advocacy in California’s Salinas Valley to ensure that all rural communities have access to safe drinking water.

Nitrate contamination of drinking water aquifers is a significant and growing problem in the Salinas Valley. Approximately one-third of tested domestic and irrigation wells in the Salinas Valley registered above the nitrate maximum contaminant level set by the California Department of Health. Small, rural, and unincorporated communities within the Salinas Valley are particularly at risk of drinking water contamination, and some of these communities are among the poorest in the state. This project aims to provide rural communities with access to safe drinking water to mitigate their exposure to health risks and economic harm.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Pearl has:

  • Co-counseled with Stanford Environmental Law Clinic and Golden Gate University Environmental Law and Justice Clinic on a writ against the State Water Resources Control Board
  • Sought discretionary review from the Regional Water Quality Control Board concerning a cooperative groundwater monitoring program
  • Explored long-term drinking water solutions for two unincorporated communities
  • Helped to establish a water access legal research clinical program at University of California, Davis, School of Law

Meet Other Fellows Like Pearl

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Idalmis Vaquero

Host: Communities for a Better Environment

Sponsor: Stern-Hughes Family Fund, The Ottinger Family Foundation

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Mekela Panditharatne

Host: Natural Resources Defense Council

Sponsor: Anonymous

Nicholas Leonard

Host: Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

Sponsor: Deere & Co., Lane & Waterman LLP, Schiff Hardin LLP

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Andrew Hanson

Host: Midwest Environmental Advocates, Inc.

Sponsor: Beldon Fund