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California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - In sharp reversal, California suspends mandatory water restrictions - New York Times - May 18 - The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Wednesday suspended its...more

Does the Supreme Court’s ruling in Spokeo v. Robins Change the Standing Requirements for Pursuing Environmental Citizen Suit...

Seyfarth Synopsis: U.S. Supreme Court: mere violation of a statute creating a private right of action is not itself sufficient to satisfy the standing requirement under Article III’s “case or controversy.” To establish...more

Clean Water Act’s WOTUS Rule, Still on Trial: May 2016 Updates

As we previously covered, a joint rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers - the “Clean Water Rule: Definitions of ‘Waters of the United States’” (WOTUS) - has been the subject of...more

Sweeping Six-Case Win for Water District

Court Upholds Public-Private Groundwater Conservation and Recovery Project That Will Serve Customers Throughout Southern California - A proposed public-private partnership project to pump fresh groundwater, which would...more

Fourth District Rejects CEQA Challenges To Large Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project In Separate Published Opinions

In two opinions filed May 10, 2016 (one partially and the other fully published), the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected a number of CEQA and other challenges to a project proposing to pump 50,000 acre-feet of...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

Environmentalists Sue EPA to Force Update of Drilling Waste Regulations

On May 4, 2016, a coalition of environmental organizations (“Plaintiffs”) filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection (“EPA”) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to compel the EPA to promulgate...more

More Legal Action in the Wake of Flint Water Crisis

We blogged about the Flint water crisis when class action lawsuits were filed earlier this year. The crisis began when Flint switched its water supply from Lake Huron via Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in April...more

“Hot Bench” For Advocates In Supreme Court CEQA Subsequent Review Case

The California Supreme Court held a lively oral argument session this morning (May 4, 2016), at 9:00 a.m. in its San Francisco courtroom in the case of Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community...more

EPA ALJ Denies Bayer’s Motion for Accelerated Decision

On April 25, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Susan L. Biro issued an order denying Petitioners Bayer CropScience LP and Nichino America, Inc.’s (BCS/NAI or Petitioners)...more

North Carolina Rejects Third-Party Sales of Solar-Generated Electricity

The North Carolina Utilities Commission recently ruled that third-party sales of solar-generated electricity violate state law. The Commission rejected a test case brought by an advocacy group seeking to legitimize such...more

EPA Can Withold Certain Wastewater Data from the Public

On March 29, 2016, a federal judge ruled that the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) exemption for “confidential business information” (“CBI”) can cover wastewater discharge information collected by the United States...more

Update on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Late last month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) submitted briefs to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in support of its Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) rule. The agency’s...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Supreme Court Set To Hear Important CEQA Subsequent Review Case

On May 4, 2016, at 9 a.m. in its San Francisco courtroom, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in yet another of the many significant CEQA cases it has tackled in recent years, this one presenting critically...more

Something in the Water: Flint Judge Disqualifies Himself and Staff as Theoretical Plaintiffs

In late April, U.S. District Court Judge Mark A. Goldsmith, in Concerned Pastors for Social Action, et al. v. Nick A. Kouri, et al., FlintRiverissued an interesting Order Regarding Disqualification. During an April 6, 2016...more

When Attorneys General Attack: AGs’ Aggressive Investigation of Climate Change Disclosures, and Getting Your Insurer to Provide...

Who’s afraid of New York’s Martin Act? Right now, a lot of Wall Street and energy industry companies, that’s who. Why are they concerned about the Martin Act? Because it grants the New York State Office of the Attorney...more

Court of Appeal Turns a Careful Eye Toward Challenges to California’s Cap-and-Trade Auction System

A California Court of Appeal signaled it is moving closer to making what could be a far-reaching decision in the consolidated cases of California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board (Case No. C075930) and...more

Sixth Circuit Will Not Rehear Venue Question in Clean Water Act Rule Dispute

On April 21, 2016 the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied several petitions for rehearing en banc a Sixth Circuit panel decision that looked at which courts (federal district court or federal courts of...more

Stop the Presses! EPA Still Thinks that the MATS Rule Is a Good Idea

Last week, EPA issued its “Supplemental Finding”, confirming that it still believes that its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are “appropriate and necessary.” I don’t have much to add to our post at the time of the proposed...more

10th Circ.: Permit Issuance Is Not State Action For Purposes of 14th Amendment

On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in Wasatch Equality, et al., v. Alta Ski Lifts Company, et al., affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that the U.S. Forest Service, in...more

BLM Fights Back Against Activists’ Criticisms of CA Resource Management Plan

The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) recently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental activists who have challenged the BLM’s Resource Management Plan (“RMP”) for public lands...more

Best in Law: Get Out in Front on Possible Environmental Violations

It’s no secret that businesses must run a gauntlet of federal, state and local environmental regulations in order to successfully operate in California. But the hardest test may be when a business suspects that it may be...more

Class Action Roundup: Winter 2016

Where the (Class) Action Is - This issue of Roundup wraps up 2015 with another slate of interesting cases spanning industries and subject matter. The running theme of ascertainability is now stretching into antitrust...more

Supreme Court Affirms Invalidation of Maryland's Program to Incentivize New Power Generation

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a narrowly crafted opinion by Justice Ginsburg, has unanimously invalidated Maryland's program to promote construction of new natural gas capacity by guaranteeing new generating capacity. The...more

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