Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Transportation

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Anticipating Washington State’s New Industrial Stormwater General Permit

The Washington Department of Ecology is in the process of renewing the current Industrial Stormwater General Permit (ISGP), which is set to expire on January 1, 2015. Current permit holders will need to reapply for continued...more

California High Speed Rail Authority Gains New Approvals to Move Project Forward: Eminent Domain Proceedings Commenced on Eight...

Despite recent obstacles, the California High Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) remains steadfast in its determination to complete the high-speed rail project (the “Project”), bolstered by recent approvals from various...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - March 11, 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - California lawmakers pass $687 billion drought plan -- San Francisco CBS Local - Feb 27: California lawmakers have passed a $687 million plan to provide immediate relief to...more

Court of Appeal Finds Caltrans Omitted Material Necessary to Informed Decision Making by Failing to Include a Threshold of...

In Lotus v. Department of Transportation (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 645, a California Court of Appeal found that Caltrans omitted material necessary to informed decision-making and informed public-participation when it failed to...more

Texas Environmental Update - February 28, 2014

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds NEPA and NHPA Analysis for Hawaii High-Speed Rail System

On February 18, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Department of Transportation Act to the...more

The Ninth Circuit Addresses NEPA’s Goldilocks Problem: How Many Alternatives Are Just Enough?

One of the critical elements of NEPA is that project proponents must assess the feasibility and impacts of not only the preferred alternative, but also a range of alternatives. However, there is a tension in NEPA, because it...more

Texas Environmental Update - February 14, 2014

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

OPR Mulls Changes in CEQA Traffic Metrics

As previously discussed in this blog, last year’s passage of SB 743 added a requirement in Public Resources Code § 21099(b) that the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) develop new CEQA guidelines “for...more

Caltrans EIR Analysis of Impacts to Redwoods Found Inadequate

In Trisha Lee Lotus v. Caltrans (Jan. 30, 2014), the First District Court of Appeal reversed a Humboldt County Superior Court decision, and ruled that a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) environmental impact...more

State Department Paves Way for Keystone XL Pipeline Approval

On Friday, State Department officials released the final environmental impact statement for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, concluding that the project would not substantially increase carbon emissions, and clearing the...more

Infrastructure Alert - January 30, 2014

In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama urged Congress to pass a reauthorization for the Water Resources Development Act. President Obama also called for corporate tax reform as a method to finance...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - January 2014

Gov. Brown wants to use cap-and-trade fees to fund high speed rail project - Insurance For Less - Jan 8: Gov. Jerry Brown announced plans to provide new funding for California’s high speed rail project from corporate...more

Governor's Budget Proposal Throws a Life Preserver to the High-Speed Rail Project

On the heels of Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenney’s decision halting an $8 billion bond sale for the construction of the California high-speed rail (“HSR”) project, Governor Jerry Brown has submitted a...more

Judge Kenny Rejects Bond Sale to Fund California’s High-Speed Rail Line

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny overruled a request from the California High-Speed Rail Authority to sell $8 billion of the $10 billion in bonds approved by voters in 2008....more

Major Roadblock in High-Speed Rail Project's Track

A ruling by the Sacramento County Superior Court has presented a major roadblock to the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (“Authority”) high-speed rail project (“Project”). On November 25, 2013, Judge Michael Kenny...more

Legislature Passes Arena Bill

Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 743 (“SB 743”) on September 27, 2013. The bill amends the Public Resources Code to streamline the environmental review for the new downtown arena in Sacramento and eliminate...more

2013 CEQA and Land Use Legislative Roundup: Baby Steps, Few Leaps as California Remains Committed to Sustainable Policies

Although 2013 was not a banner year for the passage of new environmental legislation, Governor Brown did sign several bills that make modest changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), revisit incentives for...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 5, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus: California's New Hydraulic Fracturing Law Cited In Pending CEQA Lawsuit: EnergyWire - Oct 30 -- Earlier this year, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks and...more

Hearing on Nov. 8 May Determine California High Speed Rail's Future

The parties in a pending Sacramento Superior Court action, Tos, et. al. v. California High Speed Rail Authority, et al., have submitted supplemental briefing in preparation for a hearing next week...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 28, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus -- Greenhouse Gas Dispute Dismissed Over Lack of Standing to Sue - CourtHouse News - Oct 17: Environmental groups lack standing to challenge the Washington state Ecology Department's...more

AB 417 Adds Statutory CEQA Exemption for Bicycle Transportation Plans

On October 7, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 417 (“AB 417”) authored by Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) that streamlines the CEQA process for bicycle transportation plans. ...more

Seventh Circuit Draws Roadmap For Section 404 Review Of Major Infrastructure Projects

A recent opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit provides a useful roadmap for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ review of major infrastructure projects under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. See...more

Landmark Decision Issued on Proper Environmental Baseline under

In a recent landmark California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (2013) 57 Cal.4th 439 (Smart Rail), the California Supreme Court issued its...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - September 16, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus -- Lawmakers approve bill to aid Sacramento NBA arena: Modesto Bee - Sep 12 -- On the last day of the legislative session, and only after last-minute negotiations and bill revisions,...more

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