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Some CEQA Reminders From The Third District: Urban Decay Requires Actual Mitigation When Identified By EIR As A Significant...

In a lengthy opinion filed February 28, 2014, and ordered partially published on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Yolo County Superior Court’s judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

City Fails to Adequately Mitigate "Urban Decay" and Energy Impacts of Big Box Retail Project

In the latest decision addressing challenges to "big box" projects under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), on February 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal invalidated the approval of a retail project in...more

CEQA Alert: Court of Appeal Addresses Inadequate Blight/Urban Decay Mitigation and Energy Impact Analyses

In California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (opinion filed 2/28/14; partial publication ordered 4/1/14), the Third Appellate District ruled that the City of Woodland violated the California Environmental Quality...more

Ruling May Put The Brakes On Some CEQA Investigations

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right-of-entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action....more

Brownfield land in the UK: ‘baseline surveys’

In this third in our series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved with “brownfield” land, we focus on “baseline” contamination surveys....more

Green Law Corner: What LEED v4 Means for You

In late 2013, the U.S. Green Building Council released its latest version of LEED, Version 4. Most of you have certainly heard of LEED but you may not know what LEED really means. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and...more

Developing Renewable Energy Projects on Brownfields: Mitigating Enivronmental Risks & Liabilities

“Greenfield” utility-scale renewable energy projects have generated both considerable praise and criticism. Government agencies and the public generally applaud efforts to generate renewable energy, while at the same time,...more

Overreaching to Apply CEQA; Second District Strikes Down LA’s Attempted Mid-Game Rule Change in Tower Lane Properties

Sometimes in the land use world, municipal planners and other regulators need to be reminded of the simple things. For example, a fundamental precept of due process is that the rules cannot be changed in the middle of the...more

Legal Alert: Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States: Supreme Court Opens the Door to Potential Fifth Amendment Takings...

In what is commonly known as a rails-to-trails case, the U.S. Supreme Court held on March 10, 2014, in an eight-to-one decision, that certain railroad rights-of-way revert to private property owners following the railroad’s...more

New EPA Standard Provides Guidance for Phase I Investigations

In a recent rulemaking, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” (set forth in 40 CFR Part 312) to reference in the rule ASTM Standard E1527-13. ASTM Standard E1527-13 is the...more

NYSDEC Announces Streamlined Procedures for Environmental Easements

On February 20, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) announced streamlined procedures for environmental easements. There has been a significant push from the regulated community for...more

Waste Board Amends VRP Regulations: What’s Changed?

The Virginia Waste Management Board has amended the Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program (“VRP”) regulations. The amended regulations – known as Amendment 2 – went into effect on January 29, 2014. All sites now in the VRP...more

Shale Gas in the UK: a year in review (a regulatory and policy update)

Introduction - Shale gas exploration is now featuring in the news headlines in the UK on an almost daily basis. The positions of those for and against extraction of unconventional gas through hydraulic fracturing...more

Time-Barred Claim . . . Or Is It? Supreme Court Agrees To Review Fourth Circuit State Statute of Repose Case

As reported on the Ogletree Deakins Environmental Law blog in July of 2013, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA or...more

Changes To California Title 24 Energy Use Requirements Effective July 1, 2014

On July 1, 2014, 2013 CALGreen, Part 11, Title 24, of the California Code of Regulations will go into effect. As a result, certain nonresidential additions and alterations will trigger compliance with more stringent...more

New Law Grants Two-Year Extension to Remedial Investigation Deadline for Qualifying Parties

This is an important legal development for any company that is cleaning up an old contaminated site in New Jersey and requires more time to complete the remedial investigation. ...more

CEQA Reform: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

The past legislative session held the prospect for significant reform of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). After the dust settled though, the only proposal able to survive the legislative gauntlet was one...more

The New Environmental Due Diligence Standard Saga Continues

To supplement our prior blog posts with respect to this issue, on December 30, 2013, the USEPA published a final rule (“Final Rule”) adopting the ASTM E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments, Phase I...more

“Spot Zoning” Found Permissible Where Small Parcel Given Greater Rights than Surrounding Properties and New Zoning Served the...

The Orange County Board of Supervisors (“Board”) approved a proposed senior citizen living community (“Project”) on a seven-acre parcel, creating a new zoning definition for senior residential housing and rezoning the parcel...more

City of Benicia Moves Forward with Potential Eminent Domain for Bus Hub Project

The City of Benicia recently secured funding to build the Benicia Industrial Park Bus Hub, a project that has been on the City's drawing board for years. But there are still some hurdles to construction. The City will need...more

LEED Silver Requirement To Be Introduced in Montgomery County

On January 21, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner will introduce 13 legislative initiatives to increase the County's commitment, in the public and private sector, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent...more

Contaminated but Remediated Soil and Cortese Listing Does Not Compel Preparation of EIR

As 2013 came to a close, the California court of appeal in Parker Shattuck Neighbors v. Berkeley City Council (1st Dist., Div. 4, 12/30/13, A136873) ___Cal.App.1st___, 2013, upheld the City of Berkeley’s decision not to...more

CEQA-In-Reverse Case Opening Brief Filed In California Supreme Court

The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) laid out its case that CEQA contains no general directive requiring analysis of the existing environment’s impacts on a future project in a 50-page opening brief filed in...more

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