Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

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Dispatches From the “Sue and Settle” Front: Trade Groups Do Not Have Standing to Challenge Settlements Regarding ESA Listing...

Last week, a federal court, for the fourth time, found that property owners’ groups do not have standing to challenge a settlement between the administration and conservation groups under which the administration agreed to...more

California’s LCFS Surviving Challenges As Major Changes Loom

The Air Resources Board proposes to merge court-mandated re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard with other significant program changes. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to generate uncertainty due to...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

Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court: California Property Owners Secure Victory in New Eminent Domain Opinion

In a victory for California property owners, the California Court of Appeal, on March 13, 2014, issued a new opinion holding that the State of California's proposed entry onto hundreds of properties in Northern California for...more

Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Statutes Challenged as Unconstitutional Takings

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

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus - DWR must acquire properties before testing tunnel for diversion of water to Southern California - CourtHouse News - Mar 17: A California appellate court ruled last week that, before...more

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency...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

Home Rule on Display in Los Angeles: First Oil-Producing City in California to Enact a Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

It was only a matter of time before a city banned hydraulic fracturing in California - a “home rule” state, where cities and localities are permitted by constitutional amendment to enact and enforce their own zoning laws as...more

Colorado Group Submits Another Anti-Fracking Statewide Ballot Petition For Consideration

Colorado voters may have yet another anti-fracking statewide ballot initiative to consider this November. The proposed constitutional amendment that was submitted to the Colorado Legislative Council on February 21 would...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Endorses Broad Regulatory Authority Under The Massachusetts Endangered Species Act

On February 18, 2014, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision in Pepin v. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife that upheld the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s ( “DFW’s”) regulatory scheme...more

Contrary Legal Winds At Cape Wind - Opponents Of Offshore Wind Sue Asserting Preemption

Would you care to hazard a guess at how long it takes to bring online an offshore wind farm in the United States? At the moment, it is 12+ years and counting. A recent court filing arguing constitutional questions is...more

Fracking: A New Contact Sport

One of the more interesting developments coming from the rise in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the efforts by municipalities to prohibit or limit fracking in their backyards, and the ensuing debates on the...more

EARL e-News: South Carolina Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Carnival Cruise Lines - Updates on Environmental,...

On January 22, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court granted Carnival Corporation d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by several citizen groups in Charleston, South Carolina. The Court held...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

Pennsylvania Governor Asks Supreme Court to Reconsider Decision Striking Down Act 13

Governor Tom Corbett is asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider its December 19, 2013 decision striking down key provisions of Act 13 — a bill aimed at regulation of drilling activity in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus...more

Drilling Down: A Look at the State of Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation, Legislation and Litigation in 2013

Hydraulic fracturing remained one of the most controversial environmental issues of 2013. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of injecting water, chemicals and “proppants,” oftentimes sand, under...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruling Impacts Shale Development

On December 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its decision on the constitutionality of Act 13—a comprehensive set of amendments to the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. The court declared unconstitutional certain...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Pro-Industry Law

In Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the energy industry. By a 4-2 decision the Court struck down a 2012 law (commonly known as “Act 13”) aimed at...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

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Act 13

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down a state law that required municipalities to permit oil and gas drilling in all zoning districts, including those designated exclusively for residential use. In a 4 to 2...more

Pa. Supreme Court Rules Key Oil and Gas Law Unconstitutional

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week struck down provisions of a state law known as Act 13, ruling that municipalities retain the right to enact stricter zoning controls on the oil and gas industry than those established...more

The Four Biggest Takeaways from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Marcellus Shale Decision

In a huge victory for municipal governments and opponents of unconventional gas drilling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down portions of the commonwealth’s 2012 Oil and Gas Act (also known as “Act 13”). This Alert...more

Pennsylvania High Court Rules on Amended Oil and Gas Act

Decision on Act 13 strikes down Pennsylvania’s attempt to establish a standard set of rules governing development and operation for the oil and gas industry. On December 19, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its...more

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