Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Construction & Land Use Newsletter - December 2014

In This Issue: - Protecting Your Brand: A Gift Not Reserved for the Holidays - Amendment to the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act - Changes are Coming to ISD - Arlington’s New LEED...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - California drought-relief bill passes House: SFGate.com - Dec 9: On December 9, the House approved a bill designed to give state and federal agencies authority to move more water in...more

Fifth District Rejects CEQA Challenge to Fresno County Aggregate Mine Project EIR In Partially Published Decision, Clarifies State...

In a lengthy, 65-page opinion filed December 8, 2014 (of which fully two-thirds was unpublished), the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Fresno County Superior Court’s judgment upholding the EIR, Conditional Use...more

Fourth District’s Split Decision Further Complicates CEQA Requirements Surrounding GHG Impact Analysis and Mitigation Measures –...

Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (11/24/14, D063288) - In a split decision on November 24, 2014, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal invalidated the program EIR...more

Comments Sought on Draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

There are about two months left in the public comment period on the draft of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation plan released by regulators in December, according to The Desert Sun. As the article explains, the goal of...more

NMFS Publishes Corrected Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for Arctic Ringed Seal

On December 9, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Secretary of Commerce published a revised proposed rule designating critical habitat for the Arctic Ringed Seal. The previous proposed rule was published...more

The Great East/West Divide

I was honored to address the recent annual meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) in Reno, Nevada. Coming out west serves as a reminder of the chasm that exists between those Americans who earn...more

American Tower Corporation v. City of San Diego (2014): Further Guidance From The Ninth Circuit On The Regulation Of Data Towers...

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed cell phone tower issues in the matter of American Tower Corporation v. City of San Diego (2014) 763 F.3d 1035, affirming that a local government has a wide degree of discretion to regulate...more

Local and National Environmental Groups Seek to Intervene in Denton Fracking Case

On Thursday, December 4, 2014, in Texas Oil and Gas Assoc. v. City of Denton, Cause No. 14-08933-431, 431st District Court, Denton County, Texas, the Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks filed a Joint Petition in...more

Benesch Shale Industry Report Quarterly Summary - Q3 2014

In this Issue: - Top Issues and Considerations - Shale Industry Moves - Ohio Shale Infrastructure - Government - Excerpt from Shale Industry Moves: E&P – Overview for Ohio...more

Swing, Pendulum, Swing: California's Historic Drought and Unprecedented Responses

Most know by now that California is facing one of its driest years in recorded history. Yet droughts are not new to California, and to put things in context we can be thankful that current drought conditions are only as bad...more

EPA Proposes to Revise Ozone NAAQS

On November 25, 2014, EPA issued a proposal to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”) for ozone. The Federal Register will publish the proposed rule in the coming days, and interested parties will be able...more

Fourth District Publishes Another CEQA Decision Setting Aside San Diego Lead Agency’s EIR For Failure To Analyze And Mitigate GHG...

Having seen years of their lofty regional planning efforts come crashing back to Earth, San Diego government entities have had little to be thankful about so far this holiday season on the CEQA front. In an October 29...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases 2014 Threatened and Endangered Species Candidate List

On December 5, 2014 the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) released its Fiscal Year 2014 Threatened and Endangered Species Candidate list. Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), when the USFWS either receives a petition...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Issues Biological Opinion for Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permit Program

On November 24, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) issued a new Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Nationwide Permit Program under the Clean Water Act. The BiOp...more

Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Critical Habitat: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sets December 18, 2014 Public Hearing in Sacramento

As we reported in November, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) has been planning to hold a public hearing on the proposal to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for the western population of yellow-billed...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 2014 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus: Coastal California residents using far less water - Associated Press - Nov 4: Residents in coastal communities use far less water than their inland counterparts, but still find ways to...more

Denton Ban Emboldens Fracking Opponents in Other Texas Cities

After the first municipal ban on hydraulic fracturing in Texas went into effect on December 2in Denton, residents of other Texas cities are considering whether to pursue bans in their own backyards. Residents from disparate...more

Innovative P3 May Help Chesapeake Bay Stick to its Diet

Maryland’s Prince George’s County Council has approved a first-of-its kind agreement with Corvias Solutions for a 30-year stormwater management public-private partnership (P3). The novel initiative, formally announced by EPA...more

To Fracture or Not to Fracture, That Is the Question in Florida

Using one line to get to the heart of the matter, on December 2, 2014, two Florida senators filed a bill aimed to ban fracking throughout the state. Senate Bill 166 defines hydraulic fracturing as the process of pumping...more

Louisiana Town Files Second Suit to Block Oil and Gas Well

The Town of Abita Springs filed a suit on December 1, 2014, seeking a declaratory judgment to block the drilling of an oil and gas well about 40 miles north of New Orleans into the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Earlier this year,...more

Double Whammy for State Fuel Suppliers

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is poised to readopt the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation in early 2015. With its readoption, CARB hopes to put to rest challenges that required a redo of the environmental...more

Environmental Due Diligence Update – New Standard for Conducting Environmental Site Assessments (Phase I Reports) in 2015

EPA published the final rule for the new site assessment standards. The new rule has been in the works for well over a year and represents the final implementation phase of the new “All Appropriate Inquiries” (AAI) standard...more

Must Calif. Dump Its Oil Spill Prevention Regime?

On Oct. 7, 2014, the Association of American Railroads and two of its member rail carriers filed suit against California's Office of Spill Prevention and Response in an effort to strike down the state's recent effort to...more

NMFS Proposes Critical Habitat for the Threatened Arctic Ringed Seal

On December 3, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published its proposed rule designating critical habitat for the threatened Arctic Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida hispida). (79 Fed. Reg. 71,714)....more

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