Transportation Environmental

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Federal Court Orders DOT to Respond to Sierra Club’s Unsafe Tank Car Lawsuit

A Federal Court has ordered the Department of Transportation (DOT) to respond to a lawsuit filed by three environmental organizations—Earthjustice, Sierra Club and ForestEthics—in which the parties asked the court to order...more

California’s High Speed Rail Project. Are We Done With the Drama?

Proponents of California’s high-speed rail project cleared a major hurdle this past week when the California Supreme Court declined to review a California Court of Appeals ruling which held that the state’s funding plan did...more

Environmental Groups Seek to Derail Bakersfield Crude-by-Rail Project

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit challenging Kern County’s approval of the first substantial oil-by-rail expansion project at a California refinery, alleging that the comprehensive Environmental Impact...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Environmental groups fight Southern California tar sands oil project: Courthouse News Service - Oct 13: Kern County illegally approved expansion of a local refinery that will let it...more

Is This the Closest I’ll Get to High-Speed Rail?

Attending the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) convention last week in Houston, Texas was like being the proverbial kid in a candy shop. The massive Expo, covering 280,000 square feet of the Brown Convention...more

Update on the California High Speed Rail System

James Andrew, Assistant Chief Counsel for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”), spoke Tuesday, October 14, at the Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section Luncheon. He stated that High-Speed...more

Fall 2014 CEQA Roundup: Legislative and Regulatory Developments

A number of recent legislative and regulatory developments in or related to CEQA will impact public agencies, developers, and practitioners in the coming year. Some significant recent developments include: SB 743...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 10/14

EPA Schedules SAP Meeting On Endocrine Activity: On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has scheduled a four-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Obama to designate portion of San Gabriel Mountains a national monument: Los Angeles Times - Oct 8: President Obama plans to announce Friday that he will set aside roughly half of the...more

First District Holds CEQA’s Application To Public Agency’s Approval of Railroad Operations Is Preempted By Federal Law Despite...

The North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), a public agency established by state law, contracted with Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company (NWPRC) to allow NWPRC to conduct freight services on tracks controlled by NCRA....more

Environmental Groups Ramp-up the Crude-by-Rail Fight in the Courtroom

Bakken crude producers and midstream transportation companies already experience transportation woes related to inadequate pipeline infrastructure, railroad capacity, tank car supply, rail accidents, and new regulations. But...more

CEQA Alert: CEQA Does Not Apply to Approval of Proposed Railroad Operations – Express Preemption by ICCTA

California’s First Appellate District has held that federal law preempts CEQA’s application to the approval of proposed railroad operations. Although this was an issue of first impression for a California appellate court,...more

Update: Comment Period for OPR Rethink of CEQA Guidelines on Transportation Impacts Extended Until November 21, 2014

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has extended the comment period for its draft of changes to the way that transportation impacts are analyzed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The new...more

International Implementation of EU Emission Trading Scheme Still Unsettled - The Scope of the Emission Trading Scheme Remains...

The European Union (EU) adopted a regulation in April 2014 that continued the application of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) as to flights operated inside the European Economic Area (EEA). But implementation...more

Viewpoint: Analysis of New Framework for Transportation Impact Under CEQA

Viewpoint: Analysis of New Framework for Transportation Impact Under CEQA - On August 6, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a preliminary discussion draft of amendments to the California...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2014 #4

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Department of Housing and Urban Development - Department of Interior -...more

California Proposes Overhaul of Standards for Analyzing Traffic Impacts

Last month Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released for public review and debate proposed draft amendments to the California Environmental Quality Act’s implementing guidelines (CEQA Guidelines)....more

California Governor Signs Bill Regulating Oil by Rail

On September 25, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will provide California’s emergency responders with more information about trains carrying crude oil and require railroad companies to provide...more

NextEnergy: Incubating Technology for Tomorrow's Homes and Cars

Two major forces are reshaping the cars that people will drive in coming years: the push to create a smarter (and eventually, even an autonomous) car, and the push for better fuel efficiency. Smarter cars are seen as a way to...more

Level of Detail Adequate in High Speed Rail Authority’s Program EIR for Central Valley to Bay Area Rail Corridor

Town of Atherton v. California High-Speed Rail Authority (7/24/14, C070877) - The appellate court upheld the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Program EIR for the Central Valley to Bay Area portion of the route,...more

Real Estate and Land Use - Sep 2014

Evidence of Economic Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Explained (SPRAWLDEF v. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission) - Why it matters: In upholding the approval of a 260-acre expansion to the...more

OPR Speaks to the Impact of Proposed New CEQA Guidelines

As discussed by the California Planning and Development Report, Chris Calfee, counsel at the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, has indicated that lead agencies will no longer be able to use General Plan congestion...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments (September 2014)

Health Activists' Petition Seeks Sunset Of CBI Claims: On August 21, 2014, six environmental health organizations filed a petition under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The petition urges the U.S....more

Texas Environmental Update

Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania Environmental Health Perspectives, September 10, 2014 - "We conducted a hypothesis...more

Renewable Energy Update -- September 2014

Renewable Energy Focus - Communities going into power business to cut cost, carbon footprint: Los Angeles Times - Aug 1: Sonoma County is at the forefront among eco-minded communities plunging into the power business...more

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