Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Level of Detail Adequate in High Speed Rail Authority’s Program EIR for Central Valley to Bay Area Rail Corridor

Town of Atherton v. California High-Speed Rail Authority (7/24/14, C070877) - The appellate court upheld the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Program EIR for the Central Valley to Bay Area portion of the route,...more

Real Estate and Land Use - Sep 2014

Evidence of Economic Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Explained (SPRAWLDEF v. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission) - Why it matters: In upholding the approval of a 260-acre expansion to the...more

The Canadian LNG Projects Revolution

Canada’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) market is at something of a turning point. With expanding shale reserves, an amenable regulatory environment and a general comfort with foreign investment in its oil and gas industry,...more

CT Law of the Land

SC19090, SC19091 - FairwindCT, Inc. v. Connecticut Siting Council - This decision upheld the Siting Council’s authorization to a Pullman & Comley client to install wind turbine electrical generation facilities in...more

Historic Calif. Groundwater Bills are Dry on Specifics

On Aug. 29, 2014, the California Legislature cast the final votes necessary to move three companion groundwater management bills to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. If signed by Gov. Brown, the bills will establish the Sustainable...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

This monthly publication provides information on compliance deadlines, regulatory developments, and other developments in federal, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire environmental and land use laws. NEW REGULATORY...more

Aurora Energy Decision Deems Discharges Prohibited, Leaves Open Question of Permit Shield Applicability

On September 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services, LLC, holding that the Clean Water Act General Permit for...more

Georgia Plant Listed and 732 Acres Designated

On September 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published notice of its final rule listing the Georgia rockcress (Arabis georgiana) as a threatened plant species under the Endangered Species Act. On the...more

Environmental Review Required for Subdivision Map Approvals

On September 9, the Third District Court of Appeal held that tentative subdivision map approvals "always have at least the potential to cause" a direct or indirect physical change in the environment and thus are categorically...more

Supreme Court Roundup: Recent Environmental Law Rulings and Pending Cases

Scaling back considerably from the October 2012 Term, the United States Supreme Court issued only a few rulings affecting environmental law during the October 2013 Term. With significant pronouncements regarding EPA’s Clean...more

OPR Speaks to the Impact of Proposed New CEQA Guidelines

As discussed by the California Planning and Development Report, Chris Calfee, counsel at the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, has indicated that lead agencies will no longer be able to use General Plan congestion...more

Court of Appeal Confirms Subdivision is a CEQA Project

In Rominger v. County of Colusa (2014) (September 9, 2014, C073815) __ Cal.App.4th___, the Court of Appeal reversed the trial court and held that a tentative subdivision map is a project under the California Environmental...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Protection for Canada Lynx

On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule revising the critical habitat designation for the contiguous United States distinct population segment (DPS) of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) and...more

Tentative Map Approval Is CEQA “Project”, Holds Third District In Published Opinion Also Addressing Prejudicial Error, Agency...

In a lengthy published decision filed September 9, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging Colusa County’s adoption of a...more

Industry Group Opposes Illinois Fracking Rules

Labor groups and members of the oil and gas industry have joined together in calling for the overhaul of recently proposed rules governing fracking in the state. The pro-fracking coalition, known as Grow-IL, argues that the...more

Aboveground Storage Tank Act Interpretive Rule

This morning, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) filed a proposed interpretive rule (the “Interpretive Rule”) with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office implementing, in part, the recent...more

Legislature Passes Historic Groundwater Management Act

On August 29, 2014, the California Legislature cast the final votes necessary to move three companion groundwater management bills to the Governor's desk. If signed by Governor Brown, the bills will establish the...more

Keystone XL Pipeline Faced Scrutiny in Nebraska Supreme Court September 5, 2014 Hearing

The Keystone XL pipeline project faced a major hurdle in the Nebraska Supreme Court last Friday, as federal approval of the pipeline may be influenced by the court’s decision regarding the constitutionality of the process by...more

EPA Releases Document Seeking To Clarify “Waters Of The U.S.” Rule

EPA on September 8, 2014, released a question and answer (Q&A) document seeking to clarify the scope and purpose of its proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule. Issued jointly by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on...more

Historic Groundwater Legislation Bills Awaiting Governor Approval

A triumvirate of bills that would establish California’s first-ever groundwater regulation law are now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. The bills, passed by the state Legislature on August 29, would establish the...more

Fifth District Reaffirms Its CEQA Historicity Rules in Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno

In a published opinion filed August 29, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment granting a writ of mandate and finding that the City of Fresno erred in approving a mitigated negative declaration (MND) for...more

Historic Bills Designed To Sustainably Manage California’s Groundwater Head To Governor

Last Friday, the California Legislature passed three bills that provide for the regulation of groundwater for the first time in the state’s history. Once signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bills—currently known as AB 1739...more

Is It Historical Under CEQA? Court Confirms Substantial Evidence Remains the Standard

Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno, et al., No. F066498,(Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., August 28, 2014) - In a two-part opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment...more

Nova Scotia Bans Hydraulic Fracturing

On September 3, Nova Scotia’s government announced that it will indefinitely ban high volume hydraulic fracturing onshore. According to Energy Minister Andrew Younger, “Nova Scotians have overwhelmingly expressed concern...more

California Urban Housing Market Plagued by Higher Rents, Lower Wages, and CEQA

The economic and social impacts of the California Environmental Quality Act are significant enough that the worldwide publication, The Economist, recently reported that the law’s liberal standing requirements “allow[ing]...more

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