Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Remedies

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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

CEQA Allows Developers to Recover Administrative Record Costs when Reimbursing Agency

Appellate Victory for Developers and Public Agencies - A developer can recover the cost of preparing a California Environmental Quality Act administrative record, even when the lead agency, not the developer, actually...more

Developer Awarded Cost of Preparing Administrative Record in CEQA Lawsuit

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) typically proceed as petitions for administrative mandamus. This means the petitioner is asking the court to review an agency’s decision and ultimately issue a...more

Do you need a Section 404 permit for your real estate development?

Real estate developers recognize the importance of obtaining a Phase I environmental site assessment to review existing environmental site conditions. However, other conditions — creeks, streams, ditches or other water...more

California Court of Appeal Partially Upholds Air Quality Thresholds of Significance Following State Supreme Court Decision

In a published decision, following the Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (2015) 62 Cal.4th 369, the First District Court of Appeal upheld...more

Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

As reported in a previous blog post, Earthjustice, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”), filed a lawsuit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) in May 2015. The...more

California’s Precondemnation Right of Entry Statutes Upheld — With a Slight Judicial Tweak

For the last two-plus years, we have been waiting for guidance from the California Supreme Court on whether public agencies could utilize the statutory “right of entry” procedure to gain access to private property to conduct...more

Safety, Health and Environment Matters - Spring/Summer 2016

Following the outcome of a so-called Brexit referendum it is clear that a significant period of uncertainty will follow while this country works out its new trading arrangements with fellow European countries and the rest of...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

EPA Investigates Alabama State Environmental Agency for Alleged Violation of Civil Rights Act

In an unprecedented action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), one of its state counterparts, for alleged civil rights violations under Title...more

“Waters of the U.S.” Rule Still Subject to Nationwide Stay, For Now

Would you consider this a “Water of the United States” subject to the Clean Water Act? Well think again, because under a new rule, even a dry streambed or channel could be considered a “Water of the U.S.” and thus...more

Environmental Notes - February 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked implementation of President Obama’s signature plan to address climate change pending a decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the plan’s legality. The Clean Power Plan is being...more

Renewable Energy Update - February 2016 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - President Obama requests significant funding boost for clean energy R&D - Solar Industry Magazine - Feb 9 - President Barack Obama’s 2017 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of...more

Motion to Amend CEQA Action Judgments to Make Additional Judgment Debtor Liable For Million Dollar Fee Award Not Barred By...

In a published opinion filed January 26, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District (Division 2) reversed a trial court’s order denying CEQA plaintiffs’ motion to amend judgments entered four (4) years...more

Act 312: Federal Court Holds That Plaintiff Cannot Pocket “Additional Remediation Damages” Without Express Contractual Provision

On February 1, 2016, a federal district court issued a ruling in Moore v. Denbury, — F.3d — (W.D. La. 2016), with important implications for “legacy” lawsuits in Louisiana. ...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - States ask Supreme Court to block Obama carbon emissions plan - Reuters - Jan 26 - A group of states led by West Virginia and Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay...more

Bypassing Scylla and Charybdis: Pre-enforcement Judicial Review of Wetlands Determinations Under the Clean Water Act

In the Odyssey, Homer told of the inescapable sailing hazards that confronted Odysseus: the six-headed sea monster, Scylla, on one side of a strait and a whirlpool, Charybdis, on the other. Odysseus chose to avoid losing all...more

Two Chinese Public Interest Groups Win Landmark Environmental Lawsuit in China

In a seminal judicial decision, a court in China’s Fujian province ruled on October 29, 2015 in favor of two environmental NGOs who brought suit against four defendants under China’s revised Environmental Protection Law for...more

Environmental Justice Lawsuit Accuses L.A. of Discriminatory Oil Permitting

On Friday, November 6, three environmental organizations filed suit against the City of Los Angeles in California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. The three groups, Youth for Environmental Justice, the Center for...more

Federal Judge Halts Implementation of Waters of the United States Rule

Injunction Applies Only to 13 States That Are Parties to the Case On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson in Fargo, N.D. issued a temporary injunction requested by North Dakota and 12 other states prohibiting the...more

Clean Water Rule Halted in Arizona and 12 Other States

On August 27, the day before it was set to become final, a federal district court in North Dakota halted implementation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of The...more

District Court Enjoins Federal Regulations Revising Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

North Dakota v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 3:15-cv-00059 (D.N.D. Aug. 27, 2015) - A federal judge, Ralph R. Erickson, in North Dakota today granted several states’ request for a preliminary injunction to...more

Federal Judge Enjoins Implementation of EPA and USACE's New Clean Water Rule

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota enjoined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from implementing the recently...more

Controversial Waters of the U.S. Rule Blocked in 13 States

The WOTUS rule is concerning to many industry sectors because it would significantly expand Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction for the agencies. In particular, the rule would extend jurisdiction to broad definitions of...more

Activists ask Court to Scrap EIR and Stop Fracking

Today, July 30, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court against the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”). CBD claims, among other things, that DOGGR...more

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