Environmental Construction Transportation

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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

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

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

State Agencies Cannot Use State Budgetary Uncertainties to Escape Mitigation Obligations under CEQA

The California Supreme court determined the California State University ("CSU") could not rely solely on earmarked appropriations from the State Legislature for payment of "fair share" mitigation fees the CSU determined...more

The Demise of the Illiana Expressway: Another Court Rejects Development Modeling Projections

While it may go down as a classic case of “bad facts making bad law,” last week’s ruling rejecting the government’s NEPA analysis for the controversial Illiana Expressway is the just the latest in a disturbing trend for large...more

Energy and Infrastructure Companies Aren’t Waiting for the FAA’s New Drone Rules

With a little over one month to go in the comment period on the FAA’s proposed rules for the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and facing the prospect of at least another year before those rules...more

President Announces New Build America Initiatives; Introduces New Type of Municipal Bond

President Obama recently announced the latest steps federal agencies are taking to better incorporate private sector capital and expertise in improving the nation’s infrastructure. The announcement comes six months after the...more

Surface Transportation Board Rules That ICCTA Preempts CEQA Review of California’s High-Speed Train System

On December 12, 2014, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued a decision, in response to a petition filed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), finding that the Interstate Commerce Commission...more

Bats, Water, Soil, and Bridges- an Engineer’s dream

Want to know how bats may effect your engineering plans? Want to hear about cool new bridges? Read on. Over the past month, I’ve had the pleasure of attending two events hosted by the North Carolina Chapter of the...more

Update on the California High Speed Rail System

James Andrew, Assistant Chief Counsel for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”), spoke Tuesday, October 14, at the Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section Luncheon. He stated that High-Speed...more

California High Speed Rail Authority Gains New Approvals to Move Project Forward: Eminent Domain Proceedings Commenced on Eight...

Despite recent obstacles, the California High Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) remains steadfast in its determination to complete the high-speed rail project (the “Project”), bolstered by recent approvals from various...more

Major Court of Appeals Decision Allows Construction of $5 Billion Transit Rail Project in Honolulu to Proceed

On the front page of Nossaman's website, we report on the result of decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii that allow the...more

CEQA Requires CalTrans’ EIR to Separately Analyze Significance of Highway Project’s Impacts on Protected Old Growth Redwoods’ Root...

In a partially-published opinion filed January 30, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal, Division 3, reversed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition, and held that Caltrans must correct certain deficiencies in...more

Governor's Budget Proposal Throws a Life Preserver to the High-Speed Rail Project

On the heels of Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenney’s decision halting an $8 billion bond sale for the construction of the California high-speed rail (“HSR”) project, Governor Jerry Brown has submitted a...more

Major Roadblock in High-Speed Rail Project's Track

A ruling by the Sacramento County Superior Court has presented a major roadblock to the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (“Authority”) high-speed rail project (“Project”). On November 25, 2013, Judge Michael Kenny...more

Seventh Circuit Draws Roadmap For Section 404 Review Of Major Infrastructure Projects

A recent opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit provides a useful roadmap for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ review of major infrastructure projects under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. See...more

California High-Speed Rail Authority Violated Proposition 1A

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (“Authority”) had a major setback on Friday when Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled that the Authority had “abused its discretion by approving a funding plan...more

State Supreme Court Makes Key CEQA Ruling Involving Baseline Analyses - Future Conditions Can Be Used as the Sole Baseline for...

In a victory for public agencies, the California Supreme Court today issued its much-anticipated ruling in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (August 5, 2013). The Court held that, in...more

FHWA Proposes Fix Avoiding Need for Special Approval to Include Alternative Technical Concepts in Design-Build Procurements

On August 1, 2013, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and request for comments regarding proposed changes to FHWA’s design-build regulation that would eliminate a...more

City of Agoura Hills Moving Forward with Palo Comado Interchange Project

The City of Agoura Hills is moving forward with its plans for the U.S. 101/Palo Comado Canyon Road Interchange at Chesebro Road....more

TDEC Grant Program Encourages Green Projects For Municipalities

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is once again partnering with the Tennessee Stormwater Association, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to offer grants to...more

Amendments to the Regulations Designating Physical Activities

On April 12, 2013, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency released its Draft Regulations Amending the Regulations Designating Physical Activities (the Amended Regulations). According to the Regulatory Impact Analysis...more

Army Corps’ New Plant List Expected to Increase Number of Wetlands, Assertions of CWA Jurisdiction

This article analyzes the potential impacts of the 2012 National Wetland Plant List, released earlier this year. The author concludes that the 2012 NWPL could effect a sea change in wetland regulation, as it classifies far...more

NY PSC Acts on Energy Highway Initiative

New York’s “Energy Highway” continues to move forward. On October 22, 2012, the Energy Highway Task Force presented Governor Andrew Cuomo with its New York Energy Highway Blueprint (Blueprint), a comprehensive plan to upgrade...more

Fourth Circuit, Flawed NEPA Review Process Cast Doubt on the Future of the Monroe Connector Bypass Project

Why the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the Monroe Connector Bypass Project, and what the decision may mean for the future of major highway planning in North Carolina....more

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