Environmental Civil Procedure

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D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA’s Utility Air Toxics Rule: An “Appropriate” Rule Need Not Be Justified By Cost-Benefit Analysis

Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s rule setting limits for emissions of mercury and other air toxics from fossil-fuel-fired electric steam generating units. The focus of the decision – and the issue...more

Bright Line Rule: Collateral Estoppel Precludes Attacks on Quasi-Judicial Permit Decisions (But Stay Tuned: Rehearing Granted on...

Simply stated: “[a] collateral attack is not a substitute for an appeal” reasoned the Second Appellate District Court in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission (2nd Dist., Div. 6, 03/18/2014, B243015) ___Cal.App.2nd___,...more

Court Clarifies "Taking" Of Endangered Species And Highlights What's "Enough" Under CEQA

In Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife, No. B245141 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Mar. 20, 2014), the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision, which found that the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s...more

Some CEQA Reminders From The Third District: Urban Decay Requires Actual Mitigation When Identified By EIR As A Significant...

In a lengthy opinion filed February 28, 2014, and ordered partially published on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Yolo County Superior Court’s judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging...more

EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...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

Clarification or More Regulation? Agencies Issue Proposed Waters of the United States Rulemaking

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) on March 25, 2014 jointly issued a proposed rulemaking (Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW- 2011-0880) intended to clarify...more

Out of the Box: Legal guidance for the consumer product + retail industry - Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 2014

In This Issue: - California Announces First Consumer Products Subjected To New Green Chemistry Rules - FDA Issues Final Guidance Distinguishing Liquid Dietary Supplements from Beverages - Private Surgeon General...more

Third District Construes CEQA Guidelines’ Class 23 Categorical Exemption And “Unusual Circumstances” Exception In Rejecting...

In an exceptionally thorough and well-reasoned opinion, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging respondent 14th District Agricultural Association’s (District)...more

Dispatches From the “Sue and Settle” Front: Trade Groups Do Not Have Standing to Challenge Settlements Regarding ESA Listing...

Last week, a federal court, for the fourth time, found that property owners’ groups do not have standing to challenge a settlement between the administration and conservation groups under which the administration agreed to...more

District Court Upholds Controversial Settlement Agreements Between U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service And Environmental Groups

This week, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld two settlement agreements – one between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and WildEarth Guardians, and the other between the Service...more

Second District Addresses Interesting CEQA and CESA Species Mitigation Issues in Lengthy Partially Published Opinion Upholding...

In a lengthy, mostly published opinion filed on March 20, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate, and upheld – as against state law challenges brought by a...more

Obama Administration Releases Proposed Rule on "Waters of the United States"

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule that will impact many segments of the U.S. economy, greatly expanding future permitting requirements. The proposed rule...more

Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Proposed Rule Released: Would Expand Federal Jurisdiction over Streams and Wetlands

After several years of false starts, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have released their proposed rule, Definition of 'Waters of the United States' Under the Clean Water Act,...more

Proposition 65 Hot Button Issue: Caramel Coloring in Soft Drinks

Beverage companies PepsiCo and Goya face a spate of class action lawsuits relating to the caramel coloring in their soda drinks. In January, Consumer Reports, an independent product testing organization, released a report...more

Take That! Second District Court of Appeal Clears Major Hurdles for Newhall Ranch Project, Provides Guidance on California’s...

California’s Second District Court of Appeal, Division Five, issued a decision on March 20 in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife (Case No. BS131347), overturning the trial court’s decision...more

California’s LCFS Surviving Challenges As Major Changes Loom

The Air Resources Board proposes to merge court-mandated re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard with other significant program changes. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to generate uncertainty due to...more

Delayed Discovery Cannot Cure Defective Pre-Litigation Investigations for Proposition 65 Suits

A California appellate court recently determined that a consumer group’s failure to conduct required pre-litigation investigations of several restaurant chains’ alleged Proposition 65 violations warranted dismissal of the...more

EPA, Army Corps Of Engineers Propose Rule Clarifying Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

On March 25, the US Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a proposed rule to clarify Clean Water Act jurisdiction over streams and wetlands by re-defining “Waters of the United States” in...more

Bowman v. California Coastal Commission: New California Court of Appeal Decision Holds that a Collateral Attack is no Substitute...

Sometimes in land use law, the most impactful court holdings come from the simplest of cases. That may be the situation with the new California Court of Appeal decision in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission, issued by...more

California Court Recognizes Conservation Exception To Fully Protected Species Law

On an issue of first impression, a California court has created a judicial exception to the “take” prohibition in the state’s fully protected species statutes. On March 20, 2014, the California Court of Appeal held that the...more

EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Propose to Expand Federal Jurisdiction over Waters and Wetlands

Expansive New Definition of “Waters of the United States” - On March 25, 2014, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which share jurisdiction under the Clean...more

Real World Implications of Forest Service’s New Process for Finalizing Records Of Decision

About a year ago, the Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued a final rule establishing a ?new and exclusive process for filing objections to certain proposed National Forest Service (“NFS”) ?projects and activities (78...more

EPA Endorses Upgraded All Appropriate Inquiry Standard

Buyers of real estate and their lenders are familiar with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Originally developed in the 1980s in response to the CERCLA statute, the Phase I protocol has been refined over the years. ...more

Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project Upheld in District Court on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims

On March 25, 2014, in The Protect Our Communities Foundation et al. v. Jewell et al. , the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued a decision on a challenge to the Tule Wind Project and found in favor...more

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