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Utah Legislative Update: 2015 Water Law Legislation

This year the Utah Legislature took action on two water law issues that it has struggled with for several years—the authority of the State Engineer to consider forfeiture during review of change applications and the rights of...more

Clean Water Act: New Rule Significantly Expands Reach of Federal Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) finalized the long-anticipated Clean Water Rule. The Rule defines the term “waters of the United States” as used by...more

Major Revision to Development of Regional Impact Review Process Passed by 2015 Florida Legislature; Awaits Action By Governor

On April 24, the Florida House of Representatives added its approval to CS/CS Senate Bill 1216, an omnibus growth management bill. Most significantly, for new projects that are not currently exempt, the bill replaces the...more

2015 Texas Legislative Session Includes Twin Bills Concerning Municipal Fracking Bans

With the opening of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature on January 13, 2015, two of the more closely watched bills in the energy arena will be House Bill 539 (HB539) and House Bill 540 (HB540). HB539, filed on December...more

California Coastal Commission Further Solidifies Enforcement Powers

An informal Attorney General advice letter and recent legislation attempt to clarify the Coastal Commission’s powers in carrying out its enforcement authority. The extent of the California Coastal Commission’s legal...more

Updates: Federal Government's Efforts to Review and Devise Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations

(1) GAO Report: EPA Can Do More To Protect Groundwater from Pollutants Associated with Fracking - On Monday, July 28, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report stating that EPA can do more to...more

Water Issues Reframe State Fracking Debate

The debate over fracking continues nationwide, but in California there is an increasing focus on one major issue: water supply. With the state facing one of the most severe droughts on record and water regulators tightening...more

New CEQA Standing Reform Bill (SB 1451) Proposes Positive Changes That Would Reduce “Late Hit” Document Dumps And Extend...

A CEQA reform bill (SB 1451) introduced and authored by seven (7) Democrats (Senators Correa, Galgiani, Hill, Hueso, Roth, and Steinberg, and Assembly Member Mullin) would amend Public Resources Code § 21177 to heighten...more

Obama’s Climate Change Strategy In Supreme Court’s Hands

Two years ago, the Supreme Court upheld the major domestic policy initiative of President Obama’s first term, ruling that the Affordable Care Act passed constitutional muster. This coming June, the Court will determine the...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law January 10, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law. Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website, click on the Record Number to read opinion)...more

FOIA 2013 Wrap-Up – Summary Of Year End PAC Opinions

The Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) closed out the year by issuing two binding opinions. The following is a summary of key points from the opinions of which public bodies should be aware....more

U.S. Supreme Court Roundup - National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit – August 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent term included decisions in several cases with implications on states and states' rights. This presentation included the court's review and opinions handed down for the following cases. -...more

Notice Of Public Hearing On Proposed Local Law Town Of Ovid, New York Proposed Local Law “A” Of 2013:

Notice Of Public Hearing On Town Of Ovid, New York Proposed Local Law “A” Of 2013: “A local law repealing the ‘Mobile Home Code’ and the ‘Mobile Home Ordinance for the Placement of Individual Mobile Homes within the Town of...more

Town board votes to sue town ZBA

SENECA FALLS — Following a 100-minute closed-door session Tuesday night, the Town Board voted to sue the town Zoning Board of Appeals over a recent decision regarding a downtown building. The board takes issue with the...more

Impossible and Useless CEQA Review Is Required If City Opts Under Elections Code to Adopt Legislative Project Approvals Proposed...

In a case notable for its unique conception of “meaningful discretion” for purposes of triggering CEQA review, the Fifth District Court of Appeal has created a split in authority that will undoubtedly require Supreme Court...more

Local Government Economic Development Property Tax Exemptions

Over the last several years, county and city governments have looked anew at a more than 30-year-old provision in the Florida Constitution that permits using property tax exemptions as economic development tools. The Florida...more

Court Rules City Council Can't Skip CEQA By Adopting Voter-Proposed Legislation

How often do we hear project proponents ask whether there is a way to shortcut the CEQA timeline or head off litigation? It's not an unusual question given that some proposals draw fire no matter how much energy goes into...more

Redevelopment: Rising From The Ashes Or Final Death Rattle?

Two cases filed in Sacramento County, City of Cerritos v. State of California and Syncora Guarantee Inc. v. State of California, have challenged the constitutionality of AB 1X 26, the 2011 bill that provided for the...more

CEQA Exception For Bike Lanes Nearing The Finish Line

While most attempts to push-through last-minute CEQA reform were parked until next year, one bill, AB 2245, glided through the legislature and now heads to the finish line on Governor Brown’s desk for signature. The bill,...more

Are Courts Actively Limiting CEQA’s Scope In The Absence of Meaningful Legislative Reform?

Governor Jerry Brown was recently quoted in a Capitol Alert piece as calling legislative reform of CEQA “the Lord’s work” – hopefully he didn’t mean the quest for the Holy Grail – although he admitted in the same article he...more

Judicial Activism and Judicial Restraint: The 5th Circuit Vacates EPA's Disapproval of Texas SIP Revisions Concerning Minor...

On Friday, in Texas v. EPA, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated EPA’s decision rejecting Texas’s SIP revisions that would have implemented (and did implement, for 16 years) a Flexible Permit Program for minor NSR...more

North Carolina General Assembly Continues Reform Streak

After the dust settled on the North Carolina General Assembly 2012 Short Session, 203 bills had become law, a handful of which survived gubernatorial veto. Although the General Assembly did not pass land use reforms as...more

Ohio Takes Next Step to Implement Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact

Ohio House Bill 473 (“H.B. 473” or the “Act”) authorizes the Division of Soil and Water Resources within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (“ODNR”) to establish a water-withdrawal and consumptive-use permitting program...more

TCEQ "Compliance History" Rule Change to Affect Regulated Facilities in Texas

At the direction of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has for the last decade provided "compliance history" regulations that generate a score for each regulated facility in the state...more

City Council Adopts Amendments to the New Philadelphia Zoning Code

Even before Philadelphia’s new Zoning Code has gone into effect, it has been amended by the City Council. On June 21, 2012, the City Council passed Bill No. 120431, which includes a multitude of technical changes and...more

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