Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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The Plot Thickens: California Supreme Court Vacates Submission Of Just-Argued CEQA Subsequent Review Case, Orders Supplemental...

In orders issued May 11, 2016, one week after the May 4 oral argument and submission of the cause for decision, the California Supreme Court vacated the submission and ordered supplemental briefing in Friends of the Collage...more

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Appeal Abandoned

After filing an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit less than two weeks prior, on May 10, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) filed an unopposed motion to voluntarily dismiss its appeal...more

Fourth District Rejects CEQA Challenges To Large Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project In Separate Published Opinions

In two opinions filed May 10, 2016 (one partially and the other fully published), the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected a number of CEQA and other challenges to a project proposing to pump 50,000 acre-feet of...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Supports Renewable Developers and Proposes Revised Eagle Incidental Take Permit Reviving 30-Year...

On May 4, 2016, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a draft rule and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) analyzing the impact of the proposed rule on eagles, and extending the duration of...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for the Oregon Spotted Frog

On May 11, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule designating approximately 65,038 acres and 20.3 river miles of critical habitat for the Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa). The acres and...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

Recent Developments in the Gold King Mine Spill

On Tuesday, May 4, 2016, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs chair, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and committee member, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) formally requested a federal criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine...more

Upsetting the Outer Continental Shelf Ecosystem through Overbonding

At a time when the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) Well Control Rule has shifted focus away from its sister agency’s regulatory maneuvering, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) is changing...more

Proposed Stormwater Control Regulations Would Increase Burden on Builders, Developers

Developers and builders face potentially more stringent requirements under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recently proposed draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for...more

6 Key Takeaways from the FWS’s Proposed Update to the Eagle Act Rules

On May 2, 2016, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its second attempt to revise its rules authorizing eagle take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act). The rule would extend the...more

EPA's Proposed Water Quality Standards Rule Applicable to Maine

On April 20, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed federal water quality standards that would apply to certain waters in Maine in place of existing Maine standards that EPA has disapproved. The proposed...more

Preparing for the Future – SCAG Adopts 2016 RTP/SCS

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the nation’s largest regional planning agency and is governed by an 86-member Regional Council, made up of elected officials from among the six counties and 191...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Changes to Eagle Permit Regulations, Opens 60-Day Comment Period

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published notice in the Federal Register of proposed changes to its eagle permitting regulations (Proposed Rule). Concurrent with the Proposed Rule, the Service issued a...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Judge refuses to halt Delta land sale to Metropolitan Water District - Sacramento Bee - May 1 - San Joaquin Superior Court Judge Barbara Kronlund last Friday declined to grant a...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015

Renewable Energy Focus - U.S. proposes giving wind farms 30-year "incidental take" permits - Reuters - May 4 - U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday again proposed granting 30-year permits to wind farms that...more

FERC relicensing and annual licenses

What happens when the holder of a hydropower license applies to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a new license, but the original license expires before the relicensing case is resolved? Depending on which federal...more

Long Awaited Eagle Rule Revamp Out for Public Comment

On May 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published its proposed revisions to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“BGEPA”) permit program.  The stated intention of these proposed revisions is to...more

FHWA Proposes Bold Transportation Performance Measures to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Perhaps only by coincidence, on April 22—“Earth Day”—the Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that, for the first time, would set performance measures for greenhouse gas...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Authorizes Take of the Last Known Wild Jaguar in the United States

On April 28, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a revised Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Permit for the Rosemont Copper Mine in Pima County, Arizona. USFWS originally issued a Biological Opinion...more

“Hot Bench” For Advocates In Supreme Court CEQA Subsequent Review Case

The California Supreme Court held a lively oral argument session this morning (May 4, 2016), at 9:00 a.m. in its San Francisco courtroom in the case of Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community...more

Sustainable Development Update - April 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - How cities are taking the lead on green building - Wall Street Journal - Apr 28 - Cities in the U.S. are leading the way on climate and energy policies—especially policies...more

Coal: Hope in the Face of Pressure?

The coal industry has experienced substantial economic turmoil over the recent past, including bankruptcies – most recently by Peabody Energy Corporation – but also by Arch Coal, Inc., Walter Energy, Inc., and Patriot Coal...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges - All 10 EPA regions are seeking public comment on the draft 2017...more

Sustainable Development Update - April 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - Simon Property Group and Current, powered by GE, collaborate on mall of the future - PRNewswire - Apr 19 - Simon Property Group, a global leader in retail real estate, and...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawsuit claims Delta fish harmed by relaxed water standards - Modesto Bee - Apr 25 - Relaxed water quality standards during the drought have harmed salmon, smelt, and other fish...more

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