Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Conflict of Laws

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Fracking Heats Up in California: Moratoria and Earthquakes

The last several weeks have seen some interesting developments suggesting an increase in temperature in the debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. First, a couple of jurisdictions took actions...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

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Portions of Marcellus Shale Act Unconstitutional, Upholds Local Regulation of Oil and Gas...

On December 19, 2013, in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared portions of Act 13 of 2012 (Act 13), commonly known as the “Marcellus Shale Act,” unconstitutional. As...more

PA Supreme Court Holds Portions of Oil and Gas Act Unconstitutional

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that several provisions of Act 13 of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act are unconstitutional as it gives Marcellus Shale and natural gas drillers unfettered access to drilling...more

Litigation Over Hydraulic Fracturing in New York Rolls On, As Arguments Are Made To High Court The Same Week A New Lawsuit Emerges...

On December 16, 2013, the Town of Dryden, New York filed its merits brief with the New York Court of Appeals, arguing that state law does not preempt the Town’s local zoning ordinance purporting to ban hydraulic fracturing....more

Colorado Oil and Gas Association Files Suit Against Fracking Bans

On December 3, 2013, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (“COGA”) filed suits challenging citizen-passed initiatives that ban oil and gas activities in the cities of Fort Collins and Lafayette. The ordinance passed by the...more

Depublication of Controversial CEQA Common Interest Case Denied by Supreme Court, Leaving Troublesome Split of Authority

On October 16, 2013, 60 days after the request was submitted, the California Supreme Court denied Infill Builders’ request to depublish Citizens for Ceres v. Superior Court (5th Dist. 2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 889, a decision...more

City of Ceres: California Appeals Court CEQA Decision Complicates Whether Agencies' Communications with Developers Are Privileged

On July 8, 2013, the Fifth District of the California Court of Appeal issued Citizens for Ceres v. Super. Ct. of Stanislaus County (Case No. F065690 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th, July 8, 2013)) (Ceres), a perplexing opinion holding...more

No Common Interest In CEQA Compliance Prior To Project Approval, Holds Fifth District In City of Ceres Decision That Conflicts...

In a partially-published appellate writ decision filed July 8, 2013, the Fifth District Court of Appeal held that while CEQA’s administrative record statute (Pub. Resources Code, § 21167.6) does not impliedly abrogate the...more

The New Range Wars: CEQA and the Williamson Act Are Deployed To Fight Global Warming Solutions In Save Panoche Valley

Nothing says “battle royal” quite like pitting several of California’s heavyweight environmental laws against one another in a “winner-take-all” litigation brawl....more

Court of Appeals to Hear Fracking Ban Case?

Last week, Norse Energy filed its Notice of Appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals. ...more

N.Y. Appellate Court: Municipalities Can Ban O&G Activity

An intermediate appellate court in New York recently affirmed that a local government has the authority to enact zoning ordinances banning all oil and natural gas activities within municipal limits. In 2011, the Town of...more

New York Appeals Court Upholds Zoning Laws Banning Hydrofracking over State Oil and Gas Laws

In Norse Energy Corporation USA v. Town of Dryden, et al. and Cooperstown Holstein Corporation v. Town of Middlefield, the Third Department upheld local ordinances banning all activities related to the exploration for and the...more

N.Y. Appellate Division Affirms Zoning Ordinance Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

Sedgwick’s Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force has been watching the ongoing litigation involving hydraulic fracturing (fracking) bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield, N.Y. In February 2012 we reported on the Supreme...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules in Southern Crushed Concrete that Texas Clean Air Act Preempts City of Houston Land Use Ordinance

On February 15, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the rulings of both a trial court and lower appellate court and found in favor of Southern Crushed Concrete in holding that a City of Houston ordinance placing location...more

Federal Court Holds Local Law Preempted By ESA Settlement

The Palila (Loxioides bailleui) is a small bird native to Hawaii that was listed as endangered in 1967. In 1998, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, pursuant to a stipulation submitted by the parties, issued...more

Virginia AG: Localities Cannot Ban Gas Drilling Through Zoning

Continuing on this blog’s ongoing exploration of the intersection of state and local regulation of shale drilling, several weeks ago Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an advisory opinion finding that state oil...more

Lead Agency Could Not Bypass CEQA Review By Adopting A Voter-Sponsored Initiative As An Ordinance Instead Of Placing The...

A court of appeal created a split of authority when it ruled that California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) review was necessary when a city approved a project, by adopting as an ordinance, an initiative petition that...more

Impossible and Useless CEQA Review Is Required If City Opts Under Elections Code to Adopt Legislative Project Approvals Proposed...

In a case notable for its unique conception of “meaningful discretion” for purposes of triggering CEQA review, the Fifth District Court of Appeal has created a split in authority that will undoubtedly require Supreme Court...more

Litigation Update: California Supreme Court Grants Review Of L.A. Light Rail Case

On August 8th, the California Supreme Court granted review of the Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority. As previously blogged in April, the...more

D.C. Circuit Rebuffs Challenges to EPA’s Climate Change Regulations

In considering the most serious efforts to date to invalidate the federal climate change regulations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously upheld several of EPA’s Clean Air Act greenhouse gas (GHG)...more

Second Appellate District Approves Use of Projected Future Baseline to Measure Environmental Impacts in L.A. Light Rail Case

On Tuesday, the Second District Court of Appeal issued its decision in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, ruling that a lead agency’s use of projected future conditions to measure the...more

Court Upholds Use of Future CEQA Baseline, Contravening Sunnyvale and Madera

On April 17, 2012, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upheld the use of a 2030 baseline for an Environmental Impact Report’s (EIR) traffic and air quality analysis in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition...more

Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency

SCOTUS Opinion in Sackett v. EPA

Full text copy of the Supreme Court's unanimous decision in Sackett v. EPA, allowing landowners judicial review when faced with compliance orders from EPA regarding violations of the Clean Water Act....more

Pennsylvania Passes Comprehensive Amendments to Oil and Gas Laws

On February 13, Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 1950, amending Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. This legislation, most of which will become effective on April 13, imposes a drilling...more

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