Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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New LA Ordinances “Clean Up, Green Up” Industry in Residential “Toxic Hotspot” Neighborhoods

On June 4, 2016, two new Los Angeles ordinances will go into effect under the Clean Up, Green Up (CUGU) initiative. The initiative aims to improve air quality and residential quality of life in areas with high concentrations...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - In sharp reversal, California suspends mandatory water restrictions - New York Times - May 18 - The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Wednesday suspended its...more

New Regulations for California Groundwater Management

California has moved one step closer to implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”), California’s landmark groundwater legislation. On Wednesday, May 18, the California Water Commission adopted a set of...more

Governor Seeks to Streamline Approval of Multifamily Housing Projects

In an effort to encourage housing production, Governor Jerry Brown has made a bold proposal to streamline the approval of certain multifamily housing projects that include a portion deed-restricted affordable units. The...more

FERC Grants Extension of Time for Natural Gas Storage Company to Construct Expansion Facilities Over More Than 250 Comments in...

On May 16, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Arlington Storage Company, LLC (Arlington) a two-year extension of time to construct a previously authorized underground natural gas storage expansion project....more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Draft 30-Year Programmatic Eagle Take Permit - Longer Permit Terms Welcome, But Certain Proposed...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on May 6, 2016, issued a draft rule that would extend to 30 years the maximum life of permits authorizing the incidental take of bald and golden eagles pursuant to the federal Bald...more

Senate Hears Testimony on Senator Feinstein’s Emergency Drought Relief Bill

On May, 17, 2016, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Water and Energy held hearings on a number of pending bills, including S. 2533, sponsored by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). The...more

New York City to Impose Minimum Five-Cent Fee to Curb the Use of Plastic and Paper Bags

On May 5, 2016, the New York City Council passed the “Plastic Bag Bill” (Int. 209-A), which will impose a minimum fee of five cents for plastic and paper bags at retail, convenience and grocery stores - with some exceptions....more

CDFA Creates New Brownfields Project Marketplace to Advise on Projects and Financing Resources --- Online Marketplace Scheduled...

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (“CDFA”), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests, announced the creation of the Brownfields Project Marketplace...more

FERC and microhydro licensing

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed in New York cannot be constructed or operated without a license. The proposed Henson Micro Hydroelectric Project would be located on the...more

Fourth District Upholds EIR For Cadiz Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project Against Various CEQA Challenges

In the second of two published opinions filed May 10, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding the lead agency designation and EIR for a controversial project proposing to pump...more

New Kansas Act Allows Relief for Purchase of Contaminated Property

On May 9, 2016, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law the Contaminated Property Redevelopment Act (the “Act”). The goal of this Act is to allow purchasers in Kansas to acquire real property with pre-existing...more

California Energy Agencies Advance Renewable Transmission Line Planning

California energy agencies and key stakeholders have finished the first step of a statewide planning process to evaluate transmission needs in the state and the region. This process, called the Renewable Energy Transmission...more

EPA Charts Middle Path for Making “Stationary Source” and “Major Source” Determinations: In Clarifying Meaning of Term “Adjacent,”...

A quarter mile is a common distance used for horse racing, drag racing, and track and field sprints. It is now also the farthest distance at which U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will consider two emission sources...more

Oakley to Condemn Century-Old Building for Street Widening Project

As cities become more dense and urbanized, it is common for infrastructure to get outdated or insufficient to handle increased demand. We see this with roads, highways, schools, and even utilities. When new infrastructure...more

Sweeping Six-Case Win for Water District

Court Upholds Public-Private Groundwater Conservation and Recovery Project That Will Serve Customers Throughout Southern California - A proposed public-private partnership project to pump fresh groundwater, which would...more

EPA Doubles Down on Methane Regulation for Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a packet of measures targeting methane emissions from operations of the oil and gas industry on May 12, 2016. These measures include three final regulations affecting...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Some emergency drought rules might be eased - Los Angeles Times - May 9 - Governor Jerry Brown and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Monday laid out a revised...more

The Plot Thickens: California Supreme Court Vacates Submission Of Just-Argued CEQA Subsequent Review Case, Orders Supplemental...

In orders issued May 11, 2016, one week after the May 4 oral argument and submission of the cause for decision, the California Supreme Court vacated the submission and ordered supplemental briefing in Friends of the Collage...more

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Appeal Abandoned

After filing an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit less than two weeks prior, on May 10, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) filed an unopposed motion to voluntarily dismiss its appeal...more

Fourth District Rejects CEQA Challenges To Large Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project In Separate Published Opinions

In two opinions filed May 10, 2016 (one partially and the other fully published), the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected a number of CEQA and other challenges to a project proposing to pump 50,000 acre-feet of...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Supports Renewable Developers and Proposes Revised Eagle Incidental Take Permit Reviving 30-Year...

On May 4, 2016, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a draft rule and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) analyzing the impact of the proposed rule on eagles, and extending the duration of...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for the Oregon Spotted Frog

On May 11, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule designating approximately 65,038 acres and 20.3 river miles of critical habitat for the Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa). The acres and...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

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