Environmental Construction

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California Governor’s Office Releases Updated CEQA Guidelines Proposal on SB 743 Implementation

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a new draft proposal for implementing Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg 2013) (SB 743), which would require traffic analysis to be based on vehicle...more

Washington State Court of Appeals Holds Vested Permit Applications Are Not Subject to New Municipal Stormwater Requirements

The development community won a victory in Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals in a ruling that excludes pending permit applications from the new low-impact development stormwater regulations that large...more

California Supreme Court Shifts Gears on “Reverse CEQA”

The California Supreme Court has shifted gears on so-called “reverse CEQA” under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)....more

New regulations will oblige owners of buildings in Scotland to improve or report on energy efficiency of buildings

Section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides for regulations to be made for: (1) the assessment of the energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings and greenhouse gas emissions from such buildings;...more

"Renewable Energy Project Warehouse Facilities Are on the Rise"

An important development in the financing of solar, wind and other renewable energy projects in 2015 was the use of a flexible investment and financing vehicle referred to as a “warehouse.” Akin to traditional warehouse...more

A Good Reminder: State and Federal Wildlife Laws Have Severe Penalties for Harm to Endangered Species

Welcome to the New Year! I have decided to declare 2016 to be the year of the endangered species. Why? We ended 2015 with a bang by seeing how serious the take prohibition in the California Fish and Game Code can be for fully...more

Win for Wind on Taxes: Federal Income Tax Wind Farm Production Credit Extended for 2015 through 2019 - "Phase-Out" Limits Credit...

Wind farm electric generation facilities in Oklahoma have received a favorable federal income tax credit extension. The federal income tax credit for production of electricity by a qualified facility from wind...more

Practical Recommendations for Implementing California Supreme Court's Latest CEQA Decision - Court: CEQA Does Not Generally...

In California Building Industry Association (CBIA) v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the California Supreme Court held that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally does not require...more

FAST Act Expedites Permitting and Environmental Review for Large Infrastructure Projects

Expedited permitting and environmental review for complex infrastructure projects may soon be a reality. Buried at the end of its most recent transportation reauthorization package (the “FAST Act” or “Act”) is a significant...more

What Two Recent California Supreme Court Rulings Mean for Analysis of Environmental Impact at Project Sites and Greenhouse Gas...

The California Supreme Court recently issued two important decisions involving the interpretation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The first finds that agencies generally are not required to evaluate the...more

Supreme Engagement: CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California’s High Court

A new year often brings fresh perspective. With 2016 still in its infancy, it is natural to reflect back on what has been and also to contemplate what is yet to come. The California Supreme Court’s recent CEQA decisions, and...more

CEQA Year In Review 2015

In 2015 the California appellate courts continued to chart new ground as they grappled with some of CEQA’s most difficult and controversial questions. The Supreme Court of California led the way, issuing four opinions on...more

Energy Newsletter - December 2015

Guaranteed Sunshine: Performance and Testing of Solar Power Projects - This article is the third of three articles on solar power projects and discusses testing and performance guarantees in the context of engineering,...more

Public Projects in Turmoil: The Saga Of The Bay Bridge, Delta Tunnels, and High Speed Rail Would Make A Compelling Reality TV Show

It took nearly twenty-five years for the Bay Bridge to become a reality and before the paint was even dry on the self-anchored suspension span questions had already been raised about the design and seismic safety of the...more

"Congress Extends Renewable Energy Tax Credits"

On December 18, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Act), which extends and modifies the investment tax credit for solar energy property, the production tax credit for wind...more

California Supreme Court Rejects Mandatory "Reverse CEQA" Analysis

The California Supreme Court issued its long awaited opinion on December 17, 2015, in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (CBIA v. BAAQMD), commonly referred to as the "Reverse...more

Maine BEP Provisionally Adopts DEP's Proposed Revisions to Site Law Rules

On October 2, 2015, we reported on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) proposal to revise three chapters of its rules under the Site Location of Development Law (Site Law), the statute under which the...more

Worth the Wait? The California Supreme Court Rules that CEQA Does Not Require An Analysis of the Environment's Impacts on a...

On December 17, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (No. S213478). The sole question before the Court...more

California Supreme Court Holds “CEQA-In-Reverse” Is Not The Norm, Reverses And Remands First District’s Judgment In CBIA v. BAAQMD

In a unanimous 24-page opinion authored by newly seated Justice Cuellar and filed December 17, 2015, the California Supreme Court resolved a fundamental issue regarding CEQA’s scope, holding that – with certain specific...more

Supreme Court to Resolve Split on Court Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week to review a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that jurisdictional determinations under the Clean Water Act are final agency actions subject to judicial...more

New Law Streamlines Federal Permitting and Environmental Review Processes

Major infrastructure developers received a notable holiday gift from Capitol Hill and the White House earlier this month with the December 4, 2015 enactment of the Highway Authorization Act. Title XLI of the Act promises to...more

Sustainability in Retail: Going Strong and Expected to Continue

The COP21 meeting has been underway for the last week, with just a few more days left to go. The meeting, an annual session which started following the 1992 United Nations Framework on Climate Change, brings together...more

Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill Looks to Be Moving Forward

We’ve been following the status of highway and transportation funding for quite some time, previously noting that Congress kept kicking the can down the road without agreeing on a long-term solution. Finally, that is no...more

Lost in Translation: Supreme Court Elucidates CEQA GHG Analysis, “Fully Protected” Species Take Prohibition, And Issue Exhaustion...

In a 5-2 decision filed November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had upheld the EIS/EIR for the controversial Newhall Ranch development project. Center For Biological...more

Take of Fully Protected Fish Stops Large Housing Development Project in LA County

While many of us were busy hitting refresh for those great Cyber Monday deals, the California Supreme Court quietly issued its decision on the Newhall Ranch project. In a decision reminiscent of the snail darter era, the...more

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