Environmental Construction Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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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

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

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

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

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Clarifies Duties of State Agencies in Funding Off-Site Mitigation

On August 3, the California Supreme Court released its second CEQA decision of 2015, addressing a key issue for state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental mitigation. In City of San Diego v. Board...more

State Agencies Cannot Declare Mitigation of Project Impacts Infeasible Based Solely on the Lack of Legislative Appropriations

A public agency may not rely solely on a request to the Legislature to appropriate funding to mitigate a project's adverse environmental impacts and conclude that mitigation is infeasible because the funding cannot be...more

Practical questions persist on zonal planning proposal

This month's Fixing the Foundations 'productivity plan' commits the government to 'an urban planning revolution on brownfield sites'. Ministers have already pledged to create a register of brownfield land suitable for...more

Seeing Green: New York’s Reformed Brownfields Cleanup Program Creates Opportunities for Redevelopment to Generate Refundable Tax...

Now is the time to begin brownfield redevelopment projects in the State of New York. Reauthorization of and reforms to New York’s Brownfields Cleanup Program, which provides tax credits to redevelop contaminated properties,...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

Owners and Developers Should Review Permits Now Before Time Runs Out

At the end of June, Governor Raimondo signed into law legislation that suspends the running and expiration of all development permits until June 30, 2016. This suspension further expands a permit toll that has been in place,...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Critical Habitat Designations Not Subject to Cost-Benefit Analysis

In Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. U.S. Department of Commerce, a decision with significant implications for property owners, the building industry, and the development community at large, the U.S. Court of...more

Developer Tips: Top 11 Misperceptions about Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act - Even experienced project proponents can get caught off guard by common misunderstandings about cultural resources protection laws. One of the most misunderstood...more

Fourth District Holds Losing CEQA Plaintiff’s Mooted Appeal Was Not “Catalyst” To City’s Revocation Of Project Entitlements After...

In an opinion filed June 8, and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a CEQA plaintiff’s motion for attorneys’ fees under CCP § 1021.5,...more

Addressing Environmental Issues in Real Estate Development

Dealmakers sometimes overlook environmental issues when negotiating transactions, leaving important business and legal issues unaddressed until they inevitably pop up shortly before closing and send everyone scrambling. This...more

Guidance on Guidance: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Interim Final Policy for Development and...

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection routinely issues technical guidance documents (“TGDs”), which help to illustrate how it interprets and applies the statutes and regulations that it administers. Like...more

SHE Matters - Summer 2015

In This Issue: - Changes to Comah Regulations - Make Sure You Are Prepared - Strengthening of Enforcement Powers Under the Environmental Permitting Regine and Tackling Waste Crime - Will You Be Affected? - The...more

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