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Expert Testimony Recommending Vapor Intrusion Study is Insufficient Evidence of Health Effects, Does Not Trigger Need for EIR

After the Berkeley City Council (“City”) approved a mixed-use commercial and residential project on the site of a former car dealership and service garage, a community group sued, claiming that pre-existing contamination on...more

1/14/2014 - Contaminated Properties Environmental Impact Report Expert Testimony Expert Witness Vapor Intrusion

Minor General Plan Housing Element Update Does Not Require New EIR

In the interests of finality, the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) places limits on additional environmental review once a government agency has already completed environmental review for a project. After an...more

12/10/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies

Public Interest in Renewable Energy May Outweigh the Purpose of the Williamson Act; Cancellation of Williamson Act Contracts May...

After a Central Valley county cancelled Williamson Act contracts on ranchland to make way for a solar energy plant, several environmental groups sued challenging the County’s decision. The trial court found against the...more

11/21/2013 - CEQA Energy Energy Policy Environmental Impact Report Farms Renewable Energy Williamson Act

City Planning Commission’s Certification of EIR Found Improper Because City Council Improperly Delegated CEQA Certification

A city’s planning commission certified an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) for a city general plan update and recommended the city council approve the update. The certification and approval were not appealed to the...more

11/11/2013 - Administrative Remedies CEQA Certifications City Councils Environmental Impact Report Urban Planning & Development

Environmental Impact Report Must Compare Existing Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Those of the Proposed Project

A city approved relocation and expansion of an existing Wal-Mart into a 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter. Opponents of the expansion sued, claiming the project approval violated the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)...more

9/20/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Greenhouse Gas Emissions Wal-Mart

Air Quality Thresholds of Significance Not a “Project” Under CEQA

A local air quality management district proposed new thresholds of significance for air pollutants to meet tighter state and federal air quality standards and to clarify analysis of air pollutant impacts under the California...more

9/12/2013 - Air Pollution Air Quality Standards CEQA Environmental Impact Report Land Developers

California Supreme Court Settles the CEQA Baseline Debate

A transportation authority planned a light-rail extension line and prepared an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”). In analyzing traffic and air quality impacts, the EIR omitted an existing conditions baseline and instead...more

9/10/2013 - CEQA Environmental Claims Environmental Impact Report Environmental Policies Smart Rail

Use of Agricultural Conservation Easements Must Be Considered In Mitigating Loss of Prime Farmland To Development

A sand and gravel quarry was proposed for a site containing 45 acres of prime farmland. The Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) analyzing the development concluded that obtaining perpetual agricultural conservation easements...more

8/13/2013 - Conservation Easements Easements Environmental Impact Report Farms Land Developers

Court of Appeal Reverses Trial Court’s Disapproval Of Environmental Impact Report For Seawater Desalination Plant

A municipal water district proposed a project to build a seawater desalination plant to avoid predicted future water supply shortages. After the water district certified an environmental impact report (“EIR”) for the...more

6/6/2013 - CEQA Clean Water Act Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act Environmental Impact Report Fishing Industry Greenhouse Gas Emissions Seismic Data Water

Court of Appeal Narrowly Reads School Bond Measure Language; Parking Shortfall May Constitute An Environmental Impact Under CEQA

A school district board placed a large bond measure on the city ballot to fund projects at multiple schools in the district, including a project to erect stadium lighting at a high school. ...more

6/5/2013 - ADA CEQA Environmental Impact Report Funding Public Schools

Public Agency May Begin Eminent Domain Proceedings Before Completing CEQA Review, But May Not Actually Acquire The Property Until...

A racetrack landowner challenged a regional park district’s plan to condemn part of the property for construction of a bayside trail, asserting that the park district was required under eminent domain law and the California...more

5/13/2013 - CEQA Compliance Eminent Domain Environmental Impact Report Environmental Review

Late Filing Of Appeal Of Environmental Impact Report And Project Approval Is Not Excused Under Code Of Civil Procedure Section 473

An organization sought to challenge a county’s project approval and certification of an Environmental Impact Report for a 155,000-square-foot building, but filed the case three days late. The trial court dismissed the case. ...more

4/11/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Extensions Statute of Limitations

Court Of Appeal Finds County Approval Of EIR For Sand And Gravel Mining Project Does Not Violate CEQA

An organization challenged a county’s approval of a final revised environmental impact report for a project that would allow sand and gravel mining in the bed of the Cuyama River. The court of appeal affirmed the trial...more

4/1/2013 - CEQA Conditional Use Permit Environmental Impact Report Mining Mitigation Water

UPDATE: Court Of Appeal Changes Its Mind On The Issue Of Whether A City Misdescribed A Project’s Objectives

On November 27, 2012, a court of appeal ordered a city to correct the defects in a project description and alternatives discussion in a final environmental impact report (“EIR”) because the court concluded the city had...more

4/1/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Land Developers Misrepresentation Municipalities Urban Planning & Development Water

No Need To Address Adjacent Project In EIR Because Projects Are Separate, Have Different Proponents, And Serve Different Purposes

A city certified an environmental impact report (“EIR”) for development of a park. A conservancy group claimed the city wrongly defined the project to exclude a residential and commercial development project that was pending...more

1/28/2013 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report Permits Project Definition

City Erred In Certifying Environmental Impact Report That Misdescribed Project’s Objectives

In a case demonstrating the importance of a well-crafted statement of objectives, the appellate court held that a city erred in certifying a final environmental impact report (“EIR”) and approving a project because the EIR...more

1/23/2013 - Appeals CEQA Environmental Impact Report Permits Project Objectives Reversal

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