Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Rule Regarding Critical Habitat Determination for the Marbled Murrelet

On August 25, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule relating to the existing critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). The murrelet is listed as a threatened...more

The Ninth Circuit Holds Transfer of Water in Klamath River Basin Does Not Require Clean Water Act NPDES Permit

On August 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Oregon district court’s ruling that a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is not required for the discharge of water from...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and 2014 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report EPA is announcing the availability of its Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines...more

Is that Wetland Jurisdictional? A Practical Guide to the New Clean Water Rule

The Clean Water Rule recently issued by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers defines the scope of federal jurisdiction over wetlands and other “waters of the United States.”[1] It’s effective on August 28, 2015, so you need...more

First District Holds Public Agency’s Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents In Response To PRA Request Does Not Waive...

On July 31, 2015, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division One, filed a 23-page published opinion holding that the inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client privileged and work product protected...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

U.S. EPA Proposes Methane Limits for Oil and Gas Industry

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rules to limit emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), from certain new and modified facilities in the oil and natural gas industry. The...more

A Legal Morass: Overlapping Takings Law With the Endangered Species Act

Last week, Jeremy Jacobs posted an interesting article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Horne v. Dep’t of Agriculture, No. 14-275 (U.S. Jun. 22, 2015), and its potential application to Endangered Species Act...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Clean Water Act rule faces challenges from both sides - Courthouse News Service - Aug 18: A widely publicized new rule clarifying the definition of ’waters of the United States’ under the...more

New Regulations Could Expand CEQA Review of Impacts to Common Birds - California Department of Fish & Wildlife Proposes Draft...

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) published draft regulations interpreting California laws that protect birds of prey, and the nests and eggs of birds generally. These draft regulations, released on Aug. 14,...more

Legislation Revamping California Groundwater Adjudications Marches Forward

AB 1390 aims in unprecedented fashion to expedite procedures and processes for groundwater adjudications, which, in California, are known to take one or two decades before reaching a final judgment. The bill would add various...more

Six Things the Private Sector Should Know About EPA's Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance

The cumulative impact of the EPA guidance is to require the generation of more data, which means more sampling and analysis, more frequent and stringent remediation, and potentially higher remediation costs. At long...more

EPA Launches Proposed Measures to Cut Methane and VOC Emissions from Oil & Gas Industry: Agency Clarifies Permitting Requirements...

Draft New Source Performance Standards to Reduce Methane and VOC Emissions - The oil and gas sector is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) latest target regarding the reduction of GHG emissions. The White House...more

Northern Pass proposes new transmission plan

The developer of a proposed $1.4 billion electric transmission line connecting Quebec to New Hampshire has released a revised route for the project, following public opposition to earlier plans. The new vision for the...more

From Playa Lakes To Prairie Potholes: Four Things Energy Companies Need to Know About the WOTUS Rule

Have one or several playa lakes on or near a well pad in the Permian Basin? An access road nearby an ephemeral tributary of the Green River in the Uintah Basin? A pipeline that traverses lands dotted with prairie potholes in...more

Eastern District of North Carolina Dismisses Challenge to State Clean Water Permitting Decision

On July 30, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina decided Rose Acre Farms, Inc. v. North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, No. 14-cv-147, 2015 WL 4603950. The...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

Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments Released

Comments Due to Office of Planning and Research by Oct. 12 - The California Office of Planning and Research has issued a preliminary discussion draft of revisions to nearly 30 different sections of the CEQA Guidelines....more

EPA Proposes New Clean Air Act Standards for Methane and VOC Emissions by the Oil and Natural Gas Sector

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has released the text of a draft proposed rule that seeks to amend the new source performance standards (“NSPS”) addressing methane and volatile organic compounds (“VOC”) from...more

CEQA Litigation Abuses Documented By New Empirical Study Of Recent Case Filings

A 138-page report, including 371 footnotes and a 30-page appendix listing all properly documented CEQA lawsuits filed in California over its 3-year study period (2010-2012), has been posted by its authors, Holland & Knight...more

California Governor's Office Releases Comprehensive Update to State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines

On August 11, 2015, the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released its Preliminary Discussion Draft of a comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines – the first global update to the CEQA Guidelines...more

Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Next Step, Landfill Methane

Having gotten the Clean Power Plan out the door, EPA has moved on to another target of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: landfill methane emissions. Late last week, EPA proposed both new emission guidelines for...more

EPA Proposal Limits Methane, Other Emissions in Oil, Natural Gas Sector

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released proposed regulations that would set performance standards for emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from new and modified sources in the...more

Federal District Court Strikes Down Eagle Act Rule

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck down the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s so-called “30-Year Rule,” which had extended from 5 years to 30 years the duration of...more

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Proposes Rules Regulating Nesting Birds and Birds of Prey

On August 14, 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to nesting birds and birds of prey.  Specifically, the Department is proposing to adopt...more

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