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California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed three pieces of legislation (AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319) to adopt first-ever guidelines for local management and monitoring of groundwater supplies throughout the drought-plagued state. Brown said the new laws are part of a broader effort to better manage energy, land and investments, along with the state's water resources. The three new laws will allow local agencies to tailor sustainable groundwater plans to their regional economic and environmental needs. Making up more than one-third of the state's water supplies, groundwater remains critical, according to the bills' authors. The new laws define "sustainable groundwater management," and they require local agencies to adopt management plans for each of the state's most important groundwater basins.

Steel producer Nucor Corp. is raising its annual flat-rolled capacity in the United States by 16% to 13 million tons with the $770 million acquisition of Kentucky-based Gallatin Steel. The transaction would make Nucor the No. 1 provider in the United States. Gallatin, a joint venture of ArcelorMittal and Gerdau Ameristeel, produces more than 1.6 million tons a year at a mill in Gallatin County on the Ohio River. "Gallatin will enhance Nucor's current position serving flat-rolled customers in the growing pipe and tube segment," CEO John Ferriola said. The mill would be Nucor's fifth in the country.

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