Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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Ninth Circuit expands bases to avoid direct industry payment of Clean Air Act “Nonattainment Fees” — adds San Joaquin Valley...

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals capped a saga of over seven years on June 18 by extending its March 11, 2015 ruling in support of alternatives to imposing hefty fees on individual companies which have complied with the...more

Alberta Announces More Stringent GHG Emission Regulations and Climate Change Policy Review Panel

In her first major policy announcement since taking office five weeks ago, Alberta’s Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips announced today that Alberta’s primary GHG regulation will be renewed and updated. The...more

BREAKING: Wyoming Federal Court Delays Implementation Of BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

On the heels of yesterday’s day-long hearing on several preliminary injunction motions in litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) new final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal public lands,...more

Drought Bill To Combat Water Shortages Passes In California Legislature

Measure Would Allow Forced Consolidation Of Water Suppliers, Large Civil Fines - The California Legislature approved a budget bill that would grant the state authority to force water systems to consolidate to serve...more

District Court Declines to Provide Injunctive Relief for Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier in the California Bay-Delta

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, finding the plaintiff failed to establish that an emergency...more

N.C. General Assembly Is Actively Revisiting Riparian Buffer Rules

What are Riparian Buffers? - Riparian buffers are vegetated areas next to water resources that protect water quality, bank stabilization from erosion, and aquatic and wildlife habitat. The USDA Forest Service defines a...more

To Curtail Or Not To Curtail…That Is the Question

On June 12, the State Water Board issued a notice of “unavailability of water” and the “need for immediate curtailment” from various water users holding pre-1914 water rights. Less than two weeks later on June 23, lawyers...more

July 1 Deadline for General Industrial Stormwater Permits in California

Beginning July 1 of this year, there’s a new program in town! A new general industrial stormwater permit kicks in in California. Companies with an existing stormwater permit will have to apply for a new permit, and prepare a...more

The regulation of fracking in England: Environmental implications for the 'Northern Powerhouse'

It has for some time been the policy of the United Kingdom Government to facilitate operations to explore for and exploit shale gas by means of hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking'. Just before the recent General Election,...more

DRECP Agencies Announce Phase I Updates

Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (“DRECP”) is underway on the 9.8 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”). As discussed in our previous post, the four lead...more

State Water Board Receives Groundwater Monitoring Recommendations from Experts

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) has recently released recommendations from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (“LLNL”) on Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring. Pursuant to Senate Bill 4...more

Texas Town Repeals Voter-Approved Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

Just seven months after voters in Denton, Texas, approved a measure banning hydraulic fracturing within city limits, the Denton City Council voted 6 to 1 to repeal the ban. Council members called the move a “strategic repeal”...more

Disclosing Violations to EPA in a Digital Age

Under EPA’s Audit Policy and Small Business Compliance Policy, companies that discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental violations may be entitled to penalty mitigation and other incentives. EPA...more

Recent Developments Regarding Disposal of Pharmaceutical Products

Recent environmental developments may impact the health care industry and should continue to be monitored. Several environmental developments related to the discarding of pharmaceutical products (including veterinary...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Forest Service Violated ESA by Failing to Reinitiate Consultation for Canada Lynx

On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Forest Service (Service) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to reinitiate consultation with the U.S. Fish...more

More Injunction Arguments In BLM Fracking Rule Litigation Prior To Major Court Hearing Tomorrow

Several more key filings have come into the federal litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands in advance of the June 23 consolidated preliminary...more

Environmental Impact Assessments Don’t Have to Be Wise, But They May Not Assume Their Conclusion

In an important decision last week, United States District Judge Jorge Alonso rejected the Environmental Impact Statement for the Illiana Corridor Project, which would connect I55 in Illinois to I65 in Indiana. (And why...more

New York Finalizes Updates to Regulation of Hazardous Air Pollutants

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) recently finalized amendments to several regulations primarily concerning hazardous air pollutants. NYSDEC repealed and replaced 6 NYCRR Part 212, Process...more

District Court Issues Order Allowing Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides under the ESA to Utilize Extra...

On June 12, 2015, Federal District Judge Maxine Chesney issued a decision in Ellis v. Housenger (N.D. Cal.) allowing the plaintiffs to utilize expert declarations and exhibits that were not included in the certified...more

Governor Selects David Bunn to Lead Department of Conservation

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown appointed David Bunn, a former fish and game official and U.C. Davis academic, to lead the California Department of Conservation. The appointment comes after the departure of Director Mark...more

EPA and the Army Corps Issue Final Clean Water Rule, but Does This New “Line in the Water” Clarify, Expand or Narrow Clean Water...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) jointly released a final rule (the “Clean Water Rule”) redefining the scope of their shared jurisdiction under...more

California Supreme Court Rules that Ordinance Intended to Increase Number of Affordable Housing Units is a Lawful Exercise of the...

In one of the most widely followed land use cases in recent years, the Supreme Court of California unanimously upheld the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance because it was intended to advance the constitutionally...more

Summary of H.40: An Act Relating to Establishing a Renewable Energy Standard

On June 11, 2015, Governor Shumlin signed into law H. 40, An Act Relating to Establishing a Renewable Energy Standard (the “RES”). This significant renewable energy law establishes a mandatory renewable energy standard for...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Water Contractors accuse California farmers of illegally taking river water: KPCC - Jun 16: The State Water Contractors, an association of 27 public agencies that purchase water...more

Stormwater Permitting: July 1, 2015 Registration Deadline Approaches for Industrial Facilities

On July 1, 2015, new and existing industrial facilities throughout California with stormwater discharges will need a register for coverage under the new California Industrial General Permit (IGP). After 18 years, the...more

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