Environmental Constitutional Law

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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

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

Ruling May Put The Brakes On Some CEQA Investigations

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right-of-entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action....more

Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court: California Property Owners Secure Victory in New Eminent Domain Opinion

In a victory for California property owners, the California Court of Appeal, on March 13, 2014, issued a new opinion holding that the State of California's proposed entry onto hundreds of properties in Northern California for...more

Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Statutes Challenged as Unconstitutional Takings

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right of entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action. ...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus - DWR must acquire properties before testing tunnel for diversion of water to Southern California - CourtHouse News - Mar 17: A California appellate court ruled last week that, before...more

Debates Continue Over Taxes And Fees On Hydraulic Fracturing In Ohio And Pennsylvania

In exchange for a $2.6 billion cut to Ohio’s state income taxes, Gov. John Kasich has proposed a package of tax increases in other areas. Included among those increases would be the gradual implementation of a 2.75 percent...more

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency...more

How Powerful is the Endangered Species Act? Just Ask the Delta Smelt

The Endangered Species Act is a powerful tool for the protection of threatened and endangered species and their habitats. Just how powerful was made clear last week when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals largely reversed a...more

Overreaching to Apply CEQA; Second District Strikes Down LA’s Attempted Mid-Game Rule Change in Tower Lane Properties

Sometimes in the land use world, municipal planners and other regulators need to be reminded of the simple things. For example, a fundamental precept of due process is that the rules cannot be changed in the middle of the...more

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Authority to Amend the Renewable Fuel Standard

In this article: - Introduction - EPA’s Underlying Authority to Interpret the CAA - RFS Volume Mandate Reduction Authority under the CAA - Analysis of EPA’s Authority to Amend the RFS Regulatory...more

Legal Alert: Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States: Supreme Court Opens the Door to Potential Fifth Amendment Takings...

In what is commonly known as a rails-to-trails case, the U.S. Supreme Court held on March 10, 2014, in an eight-to-one decision, that certain railroad rights-of-way revert to private property owners following the railroad’s...more

Clean Air Act Ruling May Curb Suits

Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to re-hear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could be a major hurdle for plaintiffs in...more

Home Rule on Display in Los Angeles: First Oil-Producing City in California to Enact a Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

It was only a matter of time before a city banned hydraulic fracturing in California - a “home rule” state, where cities and localities are permitted by constitutional amendment to enact and enforce their own zoning laws as...more

Colorado Group Submits Another Anti-Fracking Statewide Ballot Petition For Consideration

Colorado voters may have yet another anti-fracking statewide ballot initiative to consider this November. The proposed constitutional amendment that was submitted to the Colorado Legislative Council on February 21 would...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Endorses Broad Regulatory Authority Under The Massachusetts Endangered Species Act

On February 18, 2014, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision in Pepin v. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife that upheld the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s ( “DFW’s”) regulatory scheme...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing in Clean Air Act Greenhouse Gas Case

As we discussed in an earlier post, in October 2013 the Ninth Circuit held in Washington Environmental Council v. Bellon, 732 F.3d 1131, that it lacked jurisdiction to hear certain environmental organizations’ challenge to...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

Contrary Legal Winds At Cape Wind - Opponents Of Offshore Wind Sue Asserting Preemption

Would you care to hazard a guess at how long it takes to bring online an offshore wind farm in the United States? At the moment, it is 12+ years and counting. A recent court filing arguing constitutional questions is...more

Fracking: A New Contact Sport

One of the more interesting developments coming from the rise in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the efforts by municipalities to prohibit or limit fracking in their backyards, and the ensuing debates on the...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - January 31, 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: Ninth Circuit debates application of dormant Commerce Clause - CourtHouse News - Jan 22: A Ninth Circuit appellate panel’s rejection of a challenge to the “life-cycle analysis” approach...more

"US Supreme Court Cases to Watch in 2014"

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on numerous significant cases in 2014, involving such issues as presidential power, affirmative action, campaign contributions, environmental regulations, intellectual property, commercial...more

Challenge Against DOGGR Can't Stand Under SB 4: Alameda County Judge Throws Out Environmental Suit

Environmental groups will have to wait to challenge hydraulic fracturing activities in the state of California until the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) issues its permanent regulations in 2015. ...more

EARL e-News: South Carolina Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Carnival Cruise Lines - Updates on Environmental,...

On January 22, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court granted Carnival Corporation d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by several citizen groups in Charleston, South Carolina. The Court held...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Portions of Marcellus Shale Act Unconstitutional, Upholds Local Regulation of Oil and Gas...

On December 19, 2013, in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared portions of Act 13 of 2012 (Act 13), commonly known as the “Marcellus Shale Act,” unconstitutional. As...more

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