Environmental Civil Procedure

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CEQA Allows Developers to Recover Administrative Record Costs when Reimbursing Agency

Appellate Victory for Developers and Public Agencies - A developer can recover the cost of preparing a California Environmental Quality Act administrative record, even when the lead agency, not the developer, actually...more

DC Circuit Denies Sierra Club Appeal of FERC Authorization of Two LNG Facilities

Since 2012, the major opponent of new large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects has been the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club has adopted a two-pronged approach in its opposition to LNG exports projects, opposing...more

California Supreme Court Addresses Subsequent Review Under CEQA; Rejects Lishman “New Project” Test

In an opinion by Justice Kruger, the Supreme Court of California unanimously reversed the Court of Appeal in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District, Cal. Supreme Court, Case...more

California Supreme Court Rejects “New Project” Argument

Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (No. S214061, September 19, 2016) - Why It Matters: As land developers and investors know all too well, so-called...more

Neither CEQA Administrative Record Preparation Statute nor Case Law Precludes Award of Costs to Prevailing Real Party who...

In the published portion of an opinion filed September 12, 2016, the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s order taxing costs in the amount of $44,889.71 which were claimed by prevailing real party in...more

In Indiana, an Absolute Pollution Exclusion May Exclude Absolutely Nothing

A recent article in the Sports section of The Miami Herald read “Shooting coach helps Winslow.” Perhaps, but it probably didn’t help the coach much. The admonition to “eat every carrot and pea on your plate” undoubtedly...more

A Lumber Mill Biomass CoGen Need Not Consider Other Fuels In Its BACT Analysis. Other Sources Should Be So Lucky.

Ever since EPA began considering how BACT analysis would be applied to greenhouse gas emissions, there has been concern that EPA would use its BACT authority to “redefine the source” – with the particular concern that BACT...more

Another Lead-Related Crisis: East Chicago, Indiana

Last week, we began following the news about East Chicago, Indiana, where dangerously high levels of lead and arsenic have been found in the soil of a public affordable housing community and nearby elementary school affecting...more

Citizen Suits Remain a Potent Weapon

Although citizen groups have suffered some defeats in Clean Air Act cases in the NSR/PSD context recently, a decision last week in a different kind of CAA case is a reminder of just how powerful a weapon citizen suits can be,...more

District Court Rules Against an Illinois Power Plant in CAA Citizen Suit, Rejecting Three Defenses to Liability

In the case of National Resources Defense Council , et al. , v. Illinois Power Resources, LLC and Illinois Power Resources Generating, LLC, decided August 23, 2016, the United States District Court for the Central of District...more

California Court of Appeal Partially Upholds Air Quality Thresholds of Significance Following State Supreme Court Decision

In a published decision, following the Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (2015) 62 Cal.4th 369, the First District Court of Appeal upheld...more

District Court Dismisses Challenge to Biological Opinions In Light of Circuit Court’s Exclusive Jurisdiction

Primarily relying on precedent from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and D.C. Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine recently dismissed an Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit challenging two...more

ESA Mega-Settlement Part II: CBD Files Notice of Intent to Sue Over 417 Species

The Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed on August 23, 2016 a Notice of Intent to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS” or “the Service”) over missed Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) 12-month finding deadlines...more

Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

As reported in a previous blog post, Earthjustice, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”), filed a lawsuit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) in May 2015. The...more

The Eleventh Circuit Stays Challenge to the Clean Water Rule

On August 16, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which is located in Atlanta, issued its stay of proceedings in the challenge before that circuit to the Clean Water Rule that was filed in the...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2016

Court of Appeal Holds EIR Inadequately Analyzed Energy Impacts - Ukiah Citizens for Safety First v. City of Ukiah et al. (248 Cal.App.4th 256) (partially published) - Why It Matters: The California Court of Appeal...more

Sixth Circuit Upholds Criminal Restitution

An earlier case, decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on June 3, 2016, is noteworthy because it resulted in an opinion affirming the government’s use of the criminal restitution laws to require a...more

Alabama Joins Challenge to EPA's Rule Limiting Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

Alabama has joined several other states in a petition filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule regulating emissions standards for certain...more

The Social Cost of Carbon Passes Its First Judicial Test

Earlier this week, the 7th Circuit affirmed the Department of Energy’s new energy efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration equipment. This is a big deal in its own right, simply because the numbers are really...more

First Parish Coastal Zone Lawsuit to Proceed to Decision Falls for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

The first of 40 coastal permitting lawsuits to proceed to disposition has been dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. In a ruling released today, Judge Enright of the 24th JDC for Jefferson Parish...more

Recent Environmental and Administrative Law Decisions by Federal and State Courts

The state and federal appellate courts have issued a surprising number of significant rulings in a variety of environmental and administrative law controversies in late July and early August: - On August 8, the U.S....more

Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants. Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when...more

Cabot Oil & Gas Continues to Fight $4.24 Million Federal Court Jury Verdict on Landowners’ Nuisance and Negligence Claims

After a recent round of post-trial motion briefing in Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 3:09-cv-02284-MCC (M.D. Pa.), it appears one of the most heavily publicized landowner lawsuits against an exploration and...more

A Foolish Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds: So Said Emerson, So Says EPA

On Wednesday, EPA issued a final rule amending its “Regional Consistency Regulations.” The new rule provides that EPA will only follow adverse judicial decisions in the areas of the country where such judicial decisions are...more

Aerial Emissions Are Not “Disposal” Under CERCLA

Last year, we told you about a district court case in which air emissions from a lead smelter that ultimately settled on the land and in a water body gave rise to liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

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