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Executive Order Signals Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Will Be Narrowed

In the latest chapter of the seemingly never-ending controversy over the Clean Water Act’s reach, on February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S....more

California Supreme Court Limits Attorney-Client Privilege for Lawyer Invoices

In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court ruled that attorney invoices submitted to public agencies are not categorically exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. Los Angeles County Board of...more

Courts Must Defer to Agency Determination on Whether a Changed Project is a New Project

In Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Supreme Court No. S214061, filed Sept. 19, 2016), the California Supreme Court resolved the vexing question of whether a change to...more

Supreme Court Rules that Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Are Reviewable in Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 31, 2016 that an approved jurisdictional determination issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act is a final agency action subject to judicial review. Hawkes Co.,...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Navy Satisfied NEPA in Considering Terror Threat to San Diego Facility

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week rejected a claim under the National Environmental Policy Act that the Navy did not adequately consider the environmental consequences of a potential terrorist threat...more

New Critical Habitat Regulations Published Under the Endangered Species Act

On February 11, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published final regulations and a final policy addressing critical...more

CEQA Year In Review 2015

In 2015 the California appellate courts continued to chart new ground as they grappled with some of CEQA’s most difficult and controversial questions. The Supreme Court of California led the way, issuing four opinions on...more

Supreme Court to Resolve Split on Court Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week to review a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that jurisdictional determinations under the Clean Water Act are final agency actions subject to judicial...more

Presidential Memorandum on Natural Resources Mitigation Policy: Avoid, Minimize and Compensate

President Barack Obama recently ordered the heads of five federal agencies (U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic...more

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Clean Water Rule Nationwide

In an attempt to “temporarily silence[] the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has blocked the new rule defining “waters of the United States” under the...more

Ninth Circuit Invalidates EPA Approval of Controversial Pesticide

In a major victory for beekeepers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has vacated the EPA’s approval of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, concluding that the approval was based on “flawed and limited data” regarding...more

Birds of a Feather: The 5th Circuit Joins the 8th and 9th Circuits’ Narrow View of the MBTA’s Take Prohibition

On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held in United States v. CITGO Petroleum Co. that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s take prohibition does not include the unintentional take of migratory...more

Federal Court Stops Clean Water Act Rule from Going into Effect in 13 States

On August 27, 2015, Chief Judge Ralph Erickson of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a preliminary injunction that stops EPA’s and the Army Corps of Engineers’ new rule defining federal...more

Federal District Court Strikes Down Eagle Act Rule

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck down the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s so-called “30-Year Rule,” which had extended from 5 years to 30 years the duration of...more

Final Endangered Species Act Policy Revises Definition of “Significant Portion of Its Range”

On July 1, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published a final policy providing their interpretation of the phrase ‘‘significant portion of its range,’’ which is part...more

Proposed Endangered Species Act Regulations Would Change Critical Habitat Rules

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published two proposed regulations and a draft policy concerning critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species...more

EPA And Corps Of Engineers Release Proposed Rule On Scope Of Waters Covered Under Clean Water Act That Would Significantly Expand...

On April 21, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly published a proposed rule to define those waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United...more

Federal Court Upholds First Offshore Oil And Gas Lease Sales After Gulf Oil Spill

On March 31, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a memorandum opinion upholding the approval, by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, of the first oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico...more

4/10/2014  /  BOEM , NEPA , Oil & Gas

The EPA And The Corps Of Engineers Release Proposed Rule On The Scope Of Waters Covered Under The Clean Water Act

On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to define those waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds 2008 Biological Opinion Restricting Operations Of California Water Projects

On March 13, the Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the latest round of the delta smelt litigation, upholding the 2008 Biological Opinion prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the combined operations...more

CEQA Year In Review 2013 - A Summary Of Published Appellate Opinions Under CEQA

INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW - The published court decisions in 2012 reflected a heightened recognition that CEQA does not require perfection, but rather a reasonable effort to provide environmental information that...more

Draft Regulations Would Dramatically Expand Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have presented a draft of joint regulations under the Clean Water Act to the Office of Management and Budget for an internal governmental review. While the...more

"The Weakest Link For Climate Change Plaintiffs"

In a case seeking to compel the Washington Department of Ecology and two regional agencies in the state of Washington to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the...more

Ninth Circuit Rules That Plaintiffs Lack Standing To Compel State Agencies To Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In a case seeking to compel the Washington State Department of Ecology and two regional agencies in the State of Washington to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the environmental...more

California Supreme Court Makes It Easier To Challenge Local Affordable Housing Requirements

Under the Mitigation Fee Act, when a city imposes a fee, dedication, reservation or other exaction on a development project, the developer has the right to pay under protest, obtain the necessary project approvals and proceed...more

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