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California Supreme Court: Government Communications on Private Accounts Are Public

Recent decision points to the original intent of the California Public Records Act in the evolving debate over government transparency. Key Points: ..California Supreme Court rules that emails and text messages sent...more

California Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Supplemental Review; Rejects “New Project” Test

Recent decision resolves appellate split regarding standard of review for agency decision to prepare supplemental environmental review. On September 19, the California Supreme Court held that the substantial evidence...more

California Supreme Court Addresses Subsequent Review Under CEQA; Rejects Lishman “New Project” Test

In an opinion by Justice Kruger, the Supreme Court of California unanimously reversed the Court of Appeal in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District, Cal. Supreme Court, Case...more

US Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Judgment Upholding Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act,...

On June 6, 2016, in Backcountry Against Dumps et al. v. Jewell et al., the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of California upholding federal...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

Sixth Circuit Determines it has Jurisdiction to Hear Challenges to the Clean Water Rule

On February 22, 2016, in a 2-1 decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined it has jurisdiction over the numerous legal challenges to the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule), thus siding with the position...more

California Governor’s Office Releases Updated CEQA Guidelines Proposal on SB 743 Implementation

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a new draft proposal for implementing Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg 2013) (SB 743), which would require traffic analysis to be based on vehicle...more

California Supreme Court Charts New Course For Climate Change Analysis

Court endorses significance threshold based on consistency with statewide GHG reduction goals, but nonetheless invalidates State EIR utilizing that threshold. On Monday November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Case Challenging 2010 Bay Area Air Quality Management District Air Quality...

On October 7, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Supreme Court Case No. S213478), a case which calls into question...more

Sixth Circuit Stays Obama Administration’s New Clean Water Rule Nationwide

On October 9, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stayed the implementation of the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule) nationwide. The Final Rule defines “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), a threshold term...more

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Blocking the Obama Administration’s New Clean Water Rule From Taking Effect

On August 27, 2015, the US District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against implementation of the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule). The Final Rule defines Waters of the United States...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that the BLM’s Grant of a Right-of-Way for a Road Over Federal Land Does Not Trigger Consultation Under the...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) grant of a right-of-way over federal land for a road (the Road Project) for a wind energy project...more

California Supreme Upholds City of San Jose Inclusionary Housing Set-Aside Ordinance

Today, the California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the City of San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, rejecting a facial constitutional challenge brought in California Building Industry Association (CBIA) v. City of...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Over City’s Inclusionary Housing Set-Aside

On April 8, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose (Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County et al.), S212072, a case with statewide...more

California Supreme Court Protects CEQA Categorical Exemptions

Court gives more deference to an agency’s decision to use a categorical exemption, likely thwarting environmental opponents. On Monday March 2, the California Supreme Court upheld the use of a California Environmental...more

3/5/2015

Climate Action Plan for San Diego County Struck Down Under CEQA by Court of Appeal for Failure to Comply with Requirements for...

On October 29, 2014, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of California upheld the Sierra Club’s challenges to the County of San Diego’s (“County”) approval of a climate action plan (“CAP”) and related significance thresholds...more

California Development: Proposed Amendments to CEQA Guidelines Significantly Change Transportation Analyses

Developers of infill projects could face additional uncertainty and legal vulnerability under new requirements to analyze impacts on transportation. On August 6, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR)...more

2013 in Renewable Energy Project Litigation

Renewable energy developers continue to have an excellent track record of defeating project challenges. In December 2012, we summarized nearly 10 years of litigation against renewable energy projects. Between the...more

Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project Upheld in District Court on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims

On March 25, 2014, in The Protect Our Communities Foundation et al. v. Jewell et al. , the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued a decision on a challenge to the Tule Wind Project and found in favor...more

Decision on Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm

On March 14, 2014, in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility et al. v. Beaudreu et al., the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision on multiple challenges to the Cape Wind Offshore Wind...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds NEPA and NHPA Analysis for Hawaii High-Speed Rail System

On February 18, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Department of Transportation Act to the...more

Ocotillo Wind-Energy Project Prevails in NEPA and Migratory Bird Treaty Act Challenges

On November 6, 2013, in The Protect Our Communities Foundation v. Salazar, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California rejected a challenge to the Ocotillo wind-energy project based on the National...more

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