Ben Rubin

Ben Rubin

Nossaman LLP

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City Fails to Adequately Mitigate "Urban Decay" and Energy Impacts of Big Box Retail Project

In the latest decision addressing challenges to "big box" projects under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), on February 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal invalidated the approval of a retail project in...more

4/7/2014 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies

FTA And FHWA Issue New MAP-21 Guidance That Could Penalize Wildlife Agencies

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. 112-141, governs Federal funding and authorization for certain surface transportation projects. Included in MAP-21 is a provision requiring all Federal...more

4/2/2014 - Endangered Species Act Federal Funding Federal Transit Administration MAP-21

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Proposes To Reclassify California Toad

On March 27, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a 12-month finding and proposed rule to reclassify the arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus), a species that is believed to exist exclusively in California,...more

4/1/2014 - Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

Rails-to-Trails Decision: Supreme Court Holds that Government Does Not Retain Reversionary Interest

The "Rails-to-Trails" program sounds like such a great idea in theory: take old, abandoned railroad right of way and turn it into public trails. Who would complain about that? Well, it turns out lots of people might...more

3/13/2014 - Brandt Irrevocable Trust v Us Railways Reversionary Rights SCOTUS

9th Circ. Reminds BOEM About The Importance Of Evidence

On Jan. 22, 2014, the Ninth Circuit held that the final environmental impact statement ("FEIS") and supplemental environmental impact statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of proposed leases for oil and gas development in...more

3/12/2014 - BOEM Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies Evidence NEPA

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Issues Revised Recovery Plan For The Pallid Sturgeon

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the availability of a revised recovery plan for the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), a species that is found in the Missouri and Mississippi River basins, has...more

3/7/2014 - Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Plans

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Announces Listing Of Two Texas Salamanders

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a final rule listing the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and Salado salamander (Eureycea chisholmensis) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The...more

2/24/2014 - Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

After More Than Five Years, Proposed Rule To Delist Hawaiian Hawk Reopened For Comment

In August 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a proposed rule to delist the Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius), also referred to as the io, from the federal list of endangered or threatened species. The...more

2/20/2014 - Endangered Species Endangered Species Act Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Court Sides With Federal Government Over Santa Monica Airport

As we reported last month, the United States of America and the Federal Aviation Administration had filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the City of Santa Monica in federal court seeking to confirm its alleged right...more

2/17/2014 - Airports FAA

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

2/10/2014 - Carbon Emissions Clean Air Act Environmental Claims Environmental Liability EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Oil & Gas Power Plants SCOTUS

Legislation Requiring the Purchase of Private Property

As recently reported by Aaron Kinney of the San Mateo County Times, State Senator Jerry Hill is planning to introduce legislating requiring the California State Lands Commission to acquire the private property of a Silicon...more

2/10/2014 - Private Property

For The First Time Ever, U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Declares Fish Recovered

As recently reported in The Oregonian, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has declared the Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri) recovered, and will remove the species from the list of federally threatened and...more

2/5/2014 - ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

Ninth Circuit Finds Environmental Document for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale Violates NEPA

On January 22, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Final Environmental Impact Statement ("FEIS") and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of...more

2/4/2014 - BOEM Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies NEPA Offshore Drilling Oil & Gas

FHWA and FTA Issue New Guidance On MAP-21 Exclusions

On July 6, 2012 President Obama signed into law MAP-21, which, among other things, contained new National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") requirements for the Federal Transit Administration ("FTA") and Federal Highway...more

1/28/2014 - Environmental Policies Exclusions Federal Highway Administration Federal Transit Administration Highways MAP-21 NEPA

Congress Exempts U.S. Population Of Endangered Species From ESA

On January 17, 2014, President Obama signed into law the $1.1 trillion dollar Omnibus Spending Bill, thereby funding the federal government through October 1. Included in the Bill was a provision directing the Secretary of...more

1/23/2014 - Endangered Species Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Exemptions

Fate of Santa Monica Airport Up To Federal Court

On October 31, 2013, the City of Santa Monica filed a complaint in federal court against the United States of America and the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") with the hope of confirming its alleged right to control...more

1/22/2014 - Airports FAA Reversionary Rights

Sage Grouse Controversy Continues

As we previously reported, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has proposed to list the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) and the Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as endangered and threatened...more

1/13/2014 - Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Extends Comment Period For Greater Sage-Grouse And Designates Critical Habitat For Franciscan...

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") announced the extension of the public comment period on the proposals to list and designate critical habitat for the the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of...more

12/20/2013 - Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

On Remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Affirms Ruling that Temporary Flooding Resulted in Compensable Taking

As you may recall, last December we reported on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, in which the Supreme Court held that government-induced flooding of limited duration may...more

12/9/2013 - Flooding Remand SCOTUS Takings

District Court Upholds Biological Opinion For Wind Energy Project In Imperial County, California

On November 20, 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California rejected a challenge by various plaintiffs and upheld the biological opinion and incidental take statement issued by the U.S. Fish...more

11/29/2013 - Bureau of Land Management Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act Environmental Assessments Fish and Wildlife Service Incidental Take Permits Renewable Energy Wind Power

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Approves HCP And ITP For 10 Species Over A 50-Year Period

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published in the Federal Register a notice of its Record of Decision on an Incidental Take Permit authorizing NiSource, Inc. (NiSource) to "take 10 federally listed...more

11/25/2013 - Endangered Species Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service Incidental Take Permits

Wildlife Service Proposes To List Two Butterfly Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced that it has proposed listing two butterfly species under the Endangered Species Act because of "steep population declines." The two species are the Poweshiek...more

11/12/2013 - Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Proposes To List The Vandenberg Monkeyflower As Endangered

Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued two proposed rules for the Vandenberg monkeyflower (Diplacus vandenbergensis), a small annual herb only known to occur at nine locations in western Santa Barbara County. ...more

10/30/2013 - Department of Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Endangered Species Act

Public Workshop Scheduled for State Route 88 Corridor Improvement Project

Caltrans and the Amador County Transportation Commission have scheduled a public workshop for the proposed State Route 88 Pine Grove Improvements Project for tonight at 5:30 p.m. The workshop will take place at the Pine...more

10/24/2013 - Infrastructure Public Projects Roads

California Supreme Court Holds Mitigation Fee Act Applies to Inclusionary Housing

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court decided one of two pending cases dealing with inclusionary housing, holding that when a public agency requires a developer to convey units at below market rates and make substantial...more

10/21/2013 - Affordable Housing Condominiums Housing Market Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Mitigation

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