Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Wolverine Status Review Reinitiated

The distinct population segment of the North American wolverine (Gulo gulf luscus) has had a long and difficult history with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, things appeared to be changing in 2013, when, after...more

California DWR Releases Final Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications

On October 18, 2016, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its final modifications to California’s groundwater basin boundaries in response to the emergency regulations adopted by DWR last October. The basin...more

Blowing Smoke About Impacts? Fourth District Rejects Speculative CEQA Challenge to San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Consumer...

In a 29-page published opinion filed October 14, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal dispensed some good news to municipalities desiring to reasonably regulate retail medical marijuana facilities within their...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

EPA Report Addresses Voluntary Strategies for Reducing Air Pollution at U.S. Ports

As part of its initiative to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases at U.S. ports, the EPA recently released a report that assesses strategies for pollution control and sustainable growth. The “National Port Strategy...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal air board proposes stricter regulations for smog-reduction plan - Los Angeles Times - Oct 7 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) released a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies U.S. Forest Service’s Petition for Review in Canadian Lynx Case

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the U.S. Forest Service’s (“Forest Service”) petition for writ of certiorari to review the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Cottonwood Environmental...more

California Ballot 2016: Los Angeles County Measures A & M

This is the fourth and final blog in our 2016 California Election Guide Series – the first three providing brief synopses of the 17 state-wide ballot initiatives residents will see in November. In this final segment, we will...more

California Coastal Act Takes Priority Over Housing Density Laws

Court Decision Provides Guidance for Affordable Housing Units within the Coastal Zone - The Second District Court of Appeal recently held that local agencies may be required to grant affordable housing density bonuses...more

EPA Updates Penalty Calculation Guidance for Industrial Stormwater Discharges

On September 8, the EPA published Supplemental Guidance to the 1995 Interim Clean Water Act Settlement Penalty Policy for Violations of the Industrial Stormwater Requirements. This new guidance applies only to stormwater...more

UK Shale: Full Steam Ahead for Fracking?

On 6 October 2016, the UK's Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, overruled local councillors on appeal and approved Cuadrilla's plans to explore for shale gas in Lancashire. Cuadrilla has been...more

CEQA News You Can Use - Vol. 1, Issue 1

Welcome to the first edition of CEQA News You Can Use, a quarterly publication of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Natural Resources lawyers. This resource will provide quick, useful bites of CEQA news that we hope can be a...more

An Update on Pennsylvania's Oil and Gas Law - Act 13 - After Supreme Court Decisions

While many key provisions of Act 13 have now been struck down by the Supreme Court’s two Robinson decisions, much of the Act remains. Act 13 of 2012 represented a major overhaul of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas law and...more

Four New California Cap and Trade Bills Fund Programs

$900 million in appropriations for fiscal year 2016-17 - With California’s cap and trade program suffering from legal challenges, decreasing auction revenue and general criticism of the program’s effectiveness, Gov....more

The Future of Electricity Markets? Corporations Directly Buying Renewable Power

An increasing number of corporations are directly buying from (or building) clean electricity sources. For decades most Fortune 1000 companies did little more than seek to manage costs as they bought electricity and fuel....more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Species, Designates Critical Habitat for One Species

On October 5, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed a beetle species as endangered, a fish species as threatened, and designated critical habitat for the fish species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act...more

Methane Emissions Standards Take Effect

Effective this past August 3, the EPA has new regulations for methane and volatile organic compound emissions from oil and gas operations  As you know, reducing methane emissions is a key component of the President‘s climate...more

Robinson Township v. Commonwealth – Is Any of Act 13 Left?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck four additional portions of Act 13 of 2012 in its much anticipated second decision in the Robinson Twp. v. Com. litigation (Robinson IV) on September 28, 2016. While the decision and its...more

Massachusetts Innovates Again, This Time With New Climate Change Litigation

As an MIT grad and loyal resident (Go Sox!), I’m always happy to see stories about Massachusetts’ role in the innovation economy. Last week news arrived of more innovation in Massachusetts – this time on the legal front. ...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - Shell Oil settles charges regarding claims for underground tank cleanup reimbursements - Sacramento Bee - Sep 23 - Shell Oil Co. has agreed to settle charges that it...more

California Supreme Court Rules That Agencies—Not Courts—Determine Whether Modified Projects Are Subject to CEQA's Subsequent...

On September 19, the California Supreme Court held unanimously in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College, that agencies—and not courts—must decide whether the "subsequent review"...more

First Circuit Affirms US Park Service Designation of Long Wharf Pavilion Area for Public Recreational Use

On September 23, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concluded that, “for now, at least, the long war over Long Wharf is at an end.” The Court’s ruling in Boston Redevelopment Auth. v. Nat’l Park...more

California Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Supplemental Review; Rejects “New Project” Test

Recent decision resolves appellate split regarding standard of review for agency decision to prepare supplemental environmental review. On September 19, the California Supreme Court held that the substantial evidence...more

With SB 1262, SGMA Becomes Further Entrenched in California’s Water Supply Planning Laws

With Senate Bill 1262 (“SB 1262”), California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) has become firmly rooted into the State’s water supply planning laws. Specifically, SB 1262 amends the Water Supply Assessment...more

[Webinar] Stormwater Capture: Issues and Water Supply Opportunity - October 13th, 10:00am PDT

Join Nossaman attorneys for a timely discussion of new laws that are changing the landscape of water resource management. This webinar for CLE credit* will address critical water-related legal topics including applicable...more

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