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Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.

Ninth Circuit Requires Evidence of No Injury, Recognizes Forfeiture of Pre-1919 Arizona Water Rights

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A recent ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals underscores the importance of beneficially using water, as currently recognized in California, to maintain state water rights. On June 13, a three-judge panel...more

First Appellate District Holds that Air Quality Management District’s Issuance of “Authority to Construct” May Be Challenged Under...

by Downey Brand LLP on

On May 25, 2017, the First Appellate District published a modified version of its unpublished March 23, 2017 opinion, holding that the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District’s (“MCAQMD”) issuance of an “Authority to...more

DOJ to No Longer Allow Settlements to Include Contributions to Third Parties, Thereby Threatening the Future of SEPs

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Attorney General has directed the Department of Justice to no longer allow payments to third parties as part of resolving federal cases. For environmental cases, this prohibition could...more

Impact of Ninth Circuit Upholding Biological Opinion for Silver State South Solar Project in Nevada

by Perkins Coie on

In Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Biological Opinion prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to assess the impacts on the threatened desert tortoise from the...more

California Court Of Appeal Rejects Citizens Group Nuisance Case Regarding Sea Lion Stench

Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement v. City of San Diego, 8 Cal. App. 5th 350 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017). The Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal concluded that the City of San Diego could not be held...more

Riverkeeper Groups Still Seeking to Remove ADEM Authority over NPDES Permits

In a continuation of an ongoing battle, seven environmental groups (Cahaba Riverkeeper, Choctawatchee Riverkeeper, Friends of Hurricane Creek, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Friends of the Locust Fork River, Alabama Rivers...more

NEPA Victory for Freeway Infrastructure Project in Riverside County - BB&K Team Represents RCTC in Mid County Parkway Project...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Best Best & Krieger LLP environmental attorneys successfully defended a freeway infrastructure project in Riverside County from a series of challenges brought under the National Environmental Policy Act. Partners Michelle...more

Treaty Obligations to Protect Fish Habitat From Degradation Upheld

by Perkins Coie on

In July 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington violated tribal treaty obligations by building and maintaining barrier culverts that block 1,000 linear miles of streams suitable...more

Nevada Solar Project Survives Ninth Circuit Review Despite Impacts to Tortoise Connectivity

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 18, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment decision in favor of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and other federal officials in an...more

Appellate Court Holds That Mandatory Relief is Unavailable Because of Recording Error - Trial Court Ruled on Partial Record After...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In The Urban Wildlands Group, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles et al., No. B271350 (Cal. Ct. App. 2nd District, April 13, 2017), The Urban Wildlands Group Inc. (Urban Wildlands) filed a petition for writ of mandate and a complaint...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Issuance of Erosion-Control Permit as Ministerial and Exempt from CEQA

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Sierra Club et al. v. County of Sonoma et al. (2017 WL 1422533), the California First District Court of Appeal held that the issuance of an erosion-control permit by the Agricultural Commissioner of Sonoma County...more

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

No Surprises Here: First District Applies CEQA Subsequent Review Standards Mandated by Supreme Court on Remand, Again Affirms...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

When all was said and done, it was a case of “same wine, different bottle” for Defendant and Appellant San Mateo Community College District (“District”) after the First District Court of Appeal’s published May 5, 2017...more

Supreme Court of California Ruling Elevates Responsible Agency Role Under CEQA - City's EIR Erred by Failing to Fully Disclose and...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach, et al., the Supreme Court of California held that lead agencies need to expressly disclose and consider the jurisdictional claims and regulatory opinions of responsible...more

Third District Finds that EIR for Residential Development Inadequately Assessed Traffic Impacts

by Downey Brand LLP on

Cities charged with preparing EIRs for proposed projects often look to their general plans and other adopted policies to set thresholds of significance for assessing environmental impacts. A lead agency’s discretion to select...more

District Court Confirms Arbitral Award Against Venezuela In Dispute Over Gold Deposits Contract

by Carlton Fields on

A federal district court in Washington, D.C. recently confirmed a $1.2 billion arbitral award in favor of Crystallex International Corp. against Venezuela after the country’s Ministry of Environment denied a necessary permit...more

Court Sends EPA Back to the Drawing Board on Temperature Limits in Oregon Waters

by Nossaman LLP on

On April 11, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon ruled on parties’ objections to a federal magistrate judge’s findings and recommendations in a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

California Court of Appeal Strikes Down CARB's Second Review of Low Carbon Fuel Standards - Decision Keeps LCFS Regulations in...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

POET, LLC v. State Air Resources Board (POET II) is the second chapter in the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) troubled history meeting its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance obligations while also...more

School Districts not Exempt from Paying Assessments to Fund Flood Control Services - California Appellate Court Finds...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

An assessment to fund flood control and drainage services imposed by a county reclamation district on a school district was upheld Friday by a California appellate court. The court found that the trial court erred in...more

GHG Allowance Auctions are Not a Tax; Key Element of State’s Cap-and-Trade Program Upheld

California Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, et al., Case No. C075930 (Cal. Ct. App. 3d. Dist., 2017). On April 6, the California Court of Appeal for the Third District issued its...more

California Supreme Court: CEQA Requires Study of Potential Impacts to ESHA

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

Lead agencies cannot ignore the Coastal Act’s ESHA requirements in CEQA documents and defer analysis for later Coastal Commission review. Key Points: ..CEQA requires an EIR to identify potential environmentally...more

California Supreme Court Holds Banning Ranch EIR Violates CEQA by Failing to Identify and Analyze Coastal Zone Project’s Impacts...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a unanimous 29-page opinion authored by Associate Justice Carol Corrigan, and filed on March 30, 2017, the California Supreme Court held the City of Newport Beach’s EIR for a large mixed-use development project proposed on...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Special Rule Regulating Take of Utah Prairie Dog

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the take of the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens).  Because Congress has this...more

DC Circuit Case May Test Continuing Validity of FERC Delegations of Authority to Agency Staff Once Its Quorum Disappeared

by Stinson Leonard Street on

On February 7 and March 7, 2017, we wrote about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is operating without a legal quorum of three members and how the lack of a quorum might affect the validity of FERC staff...more

Appellate Court Rejects CEQA Claims on Project Modifications Made After Final EIR Published

by Holland & Knight LLP on

California's Fourth District Court of Appeal has provided useful guidance on processing requirements for environmental review documents prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when project modifications...more

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