Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Fourth District Upholds San Diego’s Balboa Park Revitalization Project Against Land Use Law And CEQA Challenges

In a published decision filed May 28, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed that part of the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate and otherwise affirmed the judgment, thus upholding the City of San...more

Canadian Province Finalizes Neonic Reduction Rule

The Canadian province of Ontario has issued its final regulations under the Ontario Pesticides Act aimed at reducing the area planted with maize and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides. These changes have...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Most water rights holders facing cuts miss state compliance deadline: Los Angeles Times - Jun 22: The majority of California growers, irrigation districts, and others who have been...more

EPA Issues Long-Delayed Guidance for Assessing and Mitigating Vapor Intrusion Risks at Contaminated Sites

On June 11, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency released long-delayed final guidance for evaluating and mitigating risks at sites where vapor intrusion is an actual or potential concern. The final guidance...more

In Suing Commonwealth of PA, Clean Air Council Takes A Stand For Up-To-Date Building Codes

There is a war on building codes across the United States, and Pennsylvania is ground zero. After years of regular building code updates, a law was passed in 2011 (Act 1) at the urging of the Pennsylvania Builders...more

Ninth Circuit Critical Habitat Decision Casts Shadow On Habitat Conservation Plan “No Surprises” Assurances

In a decision that casts a shadow on the enforceability of contractual assurances in habitat conservation plan (“HCP”) agreements, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected various Endangered Species Act...more

Ninth Circuit expands bases to avoid direct industry payment of Clean Air Act “Nonattainment Fees” — adds San Joaquin Valley...

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals capped a saga of over seven years on June 18 by extending its March 11, 2015 ruling in support of alternatives to imposing hefty fees on individual companies which have complied with the...more

Alberta Announces More Stringent GHG Emission Regulations and Climate Change Policy Review Panel

In her first major policy announcement since taking office five weeks ago, Alberta’s Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips announced today that Alberta’s primary GHG regulation will be renewed and updated. The...more

BREAKING: Wyoming Federal Court Delays Implementation Of BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

On the heels of yesterday’s day-long hearing on several preliminary injunction motions in litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) new final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal public lands,...more

Drought Bill To Combat Water Shortages Passes In California Legislature

Measure Would Allow Forced Consolidation Of Water Suppliers, Large Civil Fines - The California Legislature approved a budget bill that would grant the state authority to force water systems to consolidate to serve...more

District Court Declines to Provide Injunctive Relief for Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier in the California Bay-Delta

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, finding the plaintiff failed to establish that an emergency...more

N.C. General Assembly Is Actively Revisiting Riparian Buffer Rules

What are Riparian Buffers? - Riparian buffers are vegetated areas next to water resources that protect water quality, bank stabilization from erosion, and aquatic and wildlife habitat. The USDA Forest Service defines a...more

To Curtail Or Not To Curtail…That Is the Question

On June 12, the State Water Board issued a notice of “unavailability of water” and the “need for immediate curtailment” from various water users holding pre-1914 water rights. Less than two weeks later on June 23, lawyers...more

July 1 Deadline for General Industrial Stormwater Permits in California

Beginning July 1 of this year, there’s a new program in town! A new general industrial stormwater permit kicks in in California. Companies with an existing stormwater permit will have to apply for a new permit, and prepare a...more

The regulation of fracking in England: Environmental implications for the 'Northern Powerhouse'

It has for some time been the policy of the United Kingdom Government to facilitate operations to explore for and exploit shale gas by means of hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking'. Just before the recent General Election,...more

DRECP Agencies Announce Phase I Updates

Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (“DRECP”) is underway on the 9.8 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”). As discussed in our previous post, the four lead...more

State Water Board Receives Groundwater Monitoring Recommendations from Experts

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) has recently released recommendations from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (“LLNL”) on Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring. Pursuant to Senate Bill 4...more

Texas Town Repeals Voter-Approved Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

Just seven months after voters in Denton, Texas, approved a measure banning hydraulic fracturing within city limits, the Denton City Council voted 6 to 1 to repeal the ban. Council members called the move a “strategic repeal”...more

Disclosing Violations to EPA in a Digital Age

Under EPA’s Audit Policy and Small Business Compliance Policy, companies that discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental violations may be entitled to penalty mitigation and other incentives. EPA...more

Recent Developments Regarding Disposal of Pharmaceutical Products

Recent environmental developments may impact the health care industry and should continue to be monitored. Several environmental developments related to the discarding of pharmaceutical products (including veterinary...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Forest Service Violated ESA by Failing to Reinitiate Consultation for Canada Lynx

On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Forest Service (Service) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to reinitiate consultation with the U.S. Fish...more

More Injunction Arguments In BLM Fracking Rule Litigation Prior To Major Court Hearing Tomorrow

Several more key filings have come into the federal litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands in advance of the June 23 consolidated preliminary...more

Environmental Impact Assessments Don’t Have to Be Wise, But They May Not Assume Their Conclusion

In an important decision last week, United States District Judge Jorge Alonso rejected the Environmental Impact Statement for the Illiana Corridor Project, which would connect I55 in Illinois to I65 in Indiana. (And why...more

New York Finalizes Updates to Regulation of Hazardous Air Pollutants

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) recently finalized amendments to several regulations primarily concerning hazardous air pollutants. NYSDEC repealed and replaced 6 NYCRR Part 212, Process...more

District Court Issues Order Allowing Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides under the ESA to Utilize Extra...

On June 12, 2015, Federal District Judge Maxine Chesney issued a decision in Ellis v. Housenger (N.D. Cal.) allowing the plaintiffs to utilize expert declarations and exhibits that were not included in the certified...more

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