Construction Environmental

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News & Analysis as of

Seeking Net Benefits: President Obama Issues New Federal Policy on Addressing and Mitigating Environmental Harm Early in the...

On November 3, 2015, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum intended to encourage federal agencies to consider land use planning more holistically, clearly and consistently, addressing mitigation needs before they...more

Affordable Housing Permit Revoked by Massachusetts Appeals Court

In a recent ruling sure to embolden municipalities seeking to block affordable housing projects, the Massachusetts Appeals Court revoked the approval of a Comprehensive Permit issued under the Anti-Snob Zoning Act, G.L....more

Berkeley Hillside CEQA Cat Ex Case Redux: Kapors Get Their Mansion, First District’s Belatedly Published Opinion Upholds City’s...

On remand following a landmark California Supreme Court decision, the First District Court of Appeal filed its opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment on September 23 and later ordered it published on October 15, 2015....more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, October 2015

At its October 27, 2015, meeting, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create a new dedicated Affordable Housing Program budget unit and approved setting aside $100 million for the creation and operation of both...more

New Buffalo Green Code May Make It Easier to Build in the Queen City

On Thursday, October 22, 2015, Mayor Byron Brown submitted the Buffalo Green Code to Buffalo’s Common Council. The Green Code is a modern development strategy that will build on “Queen City in the 21st Century,” Buffalo’s...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

Fourth District Addresses CEQA Baseline Issues In Partially Published Opinion Upholding EIR For Carlsbad Shopping Mall Renovation

In an opinion filed September 10, and later ordered partially published on October 9, 2015, the Court of Appeal affirmed the substance of a judgment upholding an EIR for a regional shopping center renovation project in...more

California Governor Signs Legislation Establishing Significant New Energy Goals

Law Sets Standards Aimed at Addressing Climate Change - Today, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 350 into law, setting two ambitious climate change-related goals: a 50 percent increase in building energy efficiency, and a...more

Nationwide Stay of EPA/Army Corps "Waters of the U.S." Rule Issued By Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a nationwide temporary stay of the Clean Water Rule, which was jointly adopted earlier this year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...more

CEQA Guidelines Comments: Once In a Generation Chance

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) directs that certain proposed projects undergo environmental review to assess and mitigate significant environmental impacts. The CEQA Guidelines provide procedures and...more

Modernizing the Review Process or Just More Busy Work?

Those who have worked on the permitting and environmental review for a federally funded infrastructure project know the challenges that exist in coordinating with numerous agencies that may have oversight over a project. A...more

Maine DEP Proposes Revisions to Site Law Rules

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing revisions to three chapters of its rules under the Site Location of Development Law (Site Law), the statute under which the DEP regulates projects of state...more

New Jersey’s Appellate Division Holds State May Be Liable for Cleanup Costs under New Jersey’s Spill Act

Action Item: On August 26, 2015, in a case of first impression, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in NL Indus., Inc. v. State of New Jersey, No. A0869-14T3, 2015 N.J. Super. LEXIS 161 (N.J. Super. Ct....more

Federal Agencies Announce Steps to Expedite Reviews of Infrastructure Projects

On September 22, the Administration announced two new policies that will facilitate a more transparent and efficient permitting and review process for complex infrastructure projects. First, federal agencies announced...more

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique Of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part I – Proposed “Efficiency...

On August 11, 2015, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a 145-page “Preliminary Discussion Draft” of “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). The Discussion Draft “contains...more

Court Limits Migratory Bird Treaty Act Applicability to Incidental Take

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in United States v. CITGO that a “taking” subject to prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not include the...more

Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing Vacated by Federal Court - What It Means for Energy Development

Last week, in a decision that surprised many, a federal court in Texas overturned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision last year to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as “threatened” under the federal...more

California High Court Humbles Itself Over CEQA Case

The Supreme Court of California recently released its second California Environmental Quality Act decision of 2015, addressing a key issue for state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental...more

California Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument in Key CEQA Case

The California Supreme Court has announced that the oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District will take place on October 7, 2015, in San Francisco. The CBIA case...more

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

Clean Water Rule Halted in Arizona and 12 Other States

On August 27, the day before it was set to become final, a federal district court in North Dakota halted implementation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of The...more

Land Use Matters, August 2015

City of Los Angeles - City Council - Mobility Plan 2035 Approved - On August 11, 2015, the city council passed “Mobility Plan 2035,” a comprehensive revision of the 1999 Transportation Element of the General Plan....more

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015 #2

Good News for Corporate Policyholders: Insurer Cannot Refuse Coverage Based on Insured's Assignment of Rights Under Policies After Loss Has Occurred - Why it matters: Reversing its holding in a 2003 case, the Supreme...more

Judge Moon's Denial of Preliminary Injunction in Route 29 Lawsuit

Several months ago, business owners on Route 29 filed a lawsuit against federal and state transportation officials challenging the plan to build a grade separated interchange at Route 29 and Rio Road. The plaintiffs claimed...more

Winn Everett's Environmental Virtues Are Yin to the Yang of Casino Profits

The site in Everett where Steve Winn wants to build a resort/destination casino at a cost of more than a billion dollars has got to be the most run-down, contaminated, crummy looking oceanfront properties in Greater Boston. ...more

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