Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Sustainable Development Update - June 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - A suburban experiment aims for free energy - New York Times - Jun 3 - At first glance, Anthony and Vanessa Genau’s home in a subdivision beneath the San Gabriel Mountains is like...more

NY offshore wind leasing advances

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is moving closer to leasing ocean sites offshore New York for commercial offshore wind development. On June 2, 2016, the Department of the Interior and BOEM announced the...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

Ninth Circuit Holds National Indian Gaming Commission Not Required to Conduct NEPA Review Before Approving Casino Gaming Ordinance

In Jamul Action Committee v. Chaudhuri, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the National Indian Gaming Commission (Commission) did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when...more

Circuit Courts Tackle Question of Agency Liability under the MBTA for Permitting of Wind Energy Facilities

On June 7, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected plaintiffs’ claim, among others, that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by granting a...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: June 2016 #1

California Governor Proposes "Build By Right" Approval Process for Affordable Housing - Recognizing the extreme need throughout California for construction of new affordable housing units, on May 13, 2016, Gov. Jerry...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Appellate court temporarily blocks Delta island sale - Sacramento Bee - Jun 7 - The California Third District Court of Appeal on Tuesday granted a temporary stay blocking...more

EPA Brownfields Site Planning Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Fiscal Year 2017 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning program grants. With estimated funding of $4 million and a maximum grant amount of...more

DOJ’s Increased Focus on Environmental Criminal Cases

Recently, John C. Cruden, DOJ’s Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environmental and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), which oversees DOJ’s environmental litigation, voiced a heightened commitment to enforcing...more

Renewable Energy Update - June 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - Ninth Circuit upholds wind farm approval - Courthouse News Service - Jun 7 - Federal regulators adequately addressed whether a proposed wind turbine project near San Diego would...more

Updated Status of Oil-and Gas-Related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

June 3, 2016 was the final deadline for oil- and gas-related bills introduced in the 2015-2016 legislative session to move through their house of origin. Below is a summary of those bills, many of which relate to natural gas...more

Ontario Releases Official Climate Change Action Plan

The Ontario government has officially released Ontario’s Five Year Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2020. The proposed Climate Change Action Plan was leaked three weeks ago and the officially released version is...more

Massachusetts Seeks Delegation of Clean Water Act Permitting Program

Massachusetts is known for its comprehensive and innovative environmental laws and regulations. One exception has been the administration of the Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)...more

Sustainable Development Update - June 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - There's a way to invest in a cleaner environment, and the market is booming - Business Insider - Jun 6 - Summer is coming, and green bonds are blooming. Issuers of such bonds...more

US Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Judgment Upholding Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act,...

On June 6, 2016, in Backcountry Against Dumps et al. v. Jewell et al., the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of California upholding federal...more

Supreme Court Update: U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers V. Hawkes (15-290), Johnson V. Lee (15-789), Lynch V. Arizona (15-8366) And...

As we settle into June, the Eight seem to be clearing out the less difficult decisions in preparation for what could be a messy end to the term, given some controversial issues (abortion, affirmative action, immigration) and...more

Southern California Environmental Update #1

This is the first update on environmental regulatory and legal developments in Los Angeles and adjacent counties, as well as the Southern San Joaquin l Valley. Let us know what you think. Your comments on this Update will...more

Supreme Court Rules Landowners Can Challenge Jurisdictional Determinations

On May 31, 2016, in a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held in USACE v. Hawkes Co. that approved jurisdictional determinations (“JD”) are final actions which can be reviewed by the courts. Under the Clean Water Act a...more

D.C. Circuit Holds Injury Exists Where Statutory Enactment Denies Plaintiff’s Right to Information; Upholds Section 9 Exemption...

On June 3, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held in Friends of Animals v. Jewell (No. 1:14-cv-00357) that Plaintiff Friends of Animals (“Plaintiff”) had Article III standing to pursue a constitutional...more

The Supreme Court Holds that Army Corps’ Jurisdictional Determinations are Final Actions Subject to Judicial Review

On May 31, 2016, in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., the US Supreme Court unanimously held that a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) approved jurisdictional determination (JD) is a final agency action...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - U.S. Supreme Court allows pre-permit challenges to approved jurisdictional determinations - Allen Matkins - May 31 - In a major new legal development for the Clean Water Act's...more

Supreme Court Authorizes Judicial Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Over Federal Government’s Objection

In a rebuke to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”), the United States Supreme Court unanimously held on May 31, 2016, in Corps v. Hawkes that jurisdictional determinations (“JDs”) under the Clean Water Act are...more

USFWS Issues 90-day Finding for Midwestern Moose Population

On June 2, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a 90-day finding that listing populations of the Northwestern moose (Alces alces andersoni) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) may be warranted. The...more

Supreme Court Sides with Property Owners: Jurisdictional Determination is Reviewable

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Supreme Court decided that Army Corps’ jurisdictional determinations are judicially reviewable. This decision leaves open the question of whether other types of administrative decisions are immediately...more

Land Owners Need Not Wait for the EPA to Drop the Hammer

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) finalized a rule that either “clarified” the scope of Clean Water Act that regulates “the discharge of any pollutant” into...more

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