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Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.

California Supreme Court Holds Banning Ranch EIR Violates CEQA by Failing to Identify and Analyze Coastal Zone Project’s Impacts...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a unanimous 29-page opinion authored by Associate Justice Carol Corrigan, and filed on March 30, 2017, the California Supreme Court held the City of Newport Beach’s EIR for a large mixed-use development project proposed on...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Special Rule Regulating Take of Utah Prairie Dog

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the take of the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens).  Because Congress has this...more

Swing and a Foul Ball? Practical Effect of Obama Administration’s Now-Defunct Coal Leasing Moratorium Likely Relatively Small

by Stoel Rives LLP on

An executive order, secretarial order, and lawsuit challenging said secretarial order, all in the span of less than 36 hours and all concerning federal coal leasing. The Trump administration on Wednesday reversed a 2016...more

President Trump Rolls Back Climate Change Policies to Support Domestic Energy

On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order titled "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth" that reverses or materially alters many of the actions that the federal government undertook during the...more

DC Circuit Case May Test Continuing Validity of FERC Delegations of Authority to Agency Staff Once Its Quorum Disappeared

by Stinson Leonard Street on

On February 7 and March 7, 2017, we wrote about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is operating without a legal quorum of three members and how the lack of a quorum might affect the validity of FERC staff...more

The Delphic Provision

by Hogan Lovells on

On 8 December 2014, the agreement between the three Departments of Mineral Resources (DMR), Environmental (DEA) and Water Affairs, also known as the “One Environmental System” became a reality. In principle, this was aimed at...more

Fourth District Affirms Judgment Rejecting Numerous CEQA Challenges to EIR and Approval Process for Large Master-Planned Riverside...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a 46-page opinion filed February 14 and ordered published on March 15, 2017, the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected numerous CEQA challenges to Riverside County’s approval of an EIR for Specific Plan 380, a 200-acre...more

Appellate Court Rejects CEQA Claims on Project Modifications Made After Final EIR Published

by Holland & Knight LLP on

California's Fourth District Court of Appeal has provided useful guidance on processing requirements for environmental review documents prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when project modifications...more

Two Bureau of Land Management Regulations on Life Support Under President Trump

by Jones Day on

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to pull the plug on two rules issued by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") in 2015 and 2016. Legal and legislative developments over the next...more

Trump Administration's Budget Blueprint Calls For Significant Impacts to Environmental Programs

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Trump Administration unveiled significant rollbacks in funding for federal agencies when it released its Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again on March 16, 2017. The President's proposed budget priorities would...more

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Joins List of Endangered Species Despite Delay

by Nossaman LLP on

On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The rusty patched bumble...more

Public Trust Doctrine & Water Rights - The Walker Case: Does the Public Trust Doctrine Apply to Water Rights Established in...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A case currently pending in the Ninth Circuit raises a significant and novel issue of western water law. The case addresses whether the public trust doctrine can authorize modification of a water rights decree and...more

California Groundwater Pumpers May Be Subject to Proposed "State Intervention Fees" Under SGMA

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 8, 2017, the State Water Quality Control Board (“SWRCB”) released a draft emergency regulation that would impose new fees on some groundwater extractors. Written comments are due by Friday, April 7, 2017. The...more

Executive Order That Seeks to Undo Obama Administration's "Waters of the United States" Rule Has More Limited Immediate Impacts

by Nossaman LLP on

Debate and uncertainty regarding the extent of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act will continue under the Executive Order. On February 28, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order entitled “Restoring...more

Texas Federal Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Based On Sea Turtle Concerns

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 13, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction relying primarily on Endangered Species Act (ESA) claims, halting operation of a mooring project on the Lydia Ann...more

As Newcomers to the Industrial Storm Water Permit, Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries Have Options to Comply

The statewide Industrial Storm Water permit (Industrial Permit) provides federal Clean Water Act permit coverage for a host of different industries, including wineries, breweries, and distilleries (alcoholic beverage...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2017 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump’s budget proposal slashes EPA funding - Washington Post - Mar 16 - President Trump on Thursday released his budget plan for the next fiscal year, which proposes cutting the...more

Should Congress End Agency Deference?

by Snell & Wilmer on

At its core, agency deference – as enshrined in the United States Supreme Court’s decision, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984) – is both reasonable and necessary. Indeed, in...more

US auctions North Carolina offshore wind sites

by PretiFlaherty on

Yesterday the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management completed a competitive lease sale for renewable wind energy development in federal waters offshore North Carolina. Avangrid Renewables, LLC won the auction-based sale with...more

Ballot Box Alternatives To CEQA And Land Use Litigation: Recent Developments In The Law Of Initiatives And Referenda

by Miller Starr Regalia on

Land use litigators know that CEQA provides a potent weapon to challenge local government decisions affecting land use and development. It is often easy to plead a CEQA claim challenging such decisions, and CEQA will...more

Changing Tide for Obama-era Water Rule

On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) directing the withdrawal of the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of...more

State Water Board Releases Draft Emergency Regulation Setting Fees For SGMA Intervention

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

In a new regulatory step under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the State Water Resources Control Board released a draft emergency regulation that sets fees for state intervention activities. Comments are due by...more

CLF Takes Its MHP Fight Across the Fort Point Channel

Last week we wrote about the Conservation Law Foundation filing suit against EOEEA Secretary Beaton and DEP Commissioner Suuberg for actions associated with the approval of an amendment to the South Boston Waterfront District...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Federal Reserved Water Rights Extend to Groundwater

by Snell & Wilmer on

On March 7, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, Case No. 15-55896. In this decision, the Court unequivocally held that...more

D.C. Circuit Reinstates Gray Wolf Delisting in Wyoming

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a final rule delisting the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, No. 14-5300 (D.C....more

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