Transportation Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - California needs 11 trillion gallons of water to recover from the drought: Los Angeles Times - Jan 17: A series of recent rainstorms helped deposit needed moisture to California,...more

Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bill to expedite federal review of some spects of proposed natural gas pipelines. Known as H.R. 161, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act is officially...more

FERC issues EIS for Algonquin Incremental Market gas project

Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have issued a final Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed natural gas transmission project connecting New York and New England. In that report, Commission staff found...more

President Announces New Build America Initiatives; Introduces New Type of Municipal Bond

President Obama recently announced the latest steps federal agencies are taking to better incorporate private sector capital and expertise in improving the nation’s infrastructure. The announcement comes six months after the...more

New P3 Legislation To Take Effect in Washington, D.C.

A new law intended to encourage more widespread use of public-private partnerships (P3s) in the District of Columbia is set to become a reality in the coming weeks. The Public-Private Partnership Act of 2014 (P3 Act) was...more

Transit Oriented Development Critical to Metropolitan Growth

Urban Development: Faster Greener Commutes Key to Sustained City Growth, a report released in October 2014 by Cushman & Wakefield, provided insight into Transit Oriented Development as it explored “the consequences of rapid...more

Canada Invokes Extraterritorial Measures Law Against US Buy America

The Government of Canada today invoked a rarely used law to prohibit compliance with the U.S. Buy America legislation in relation to a proposed ferry terminal to be built by the State of Alaska in Prince Rupert, B.C. In order...more

White House Announces Plan to Regulate Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector

On January 14, the Obama administration announced plans to reduce methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas operations as part of the president’s strategy to address climate change. The plan does not, however,...more

Transportation Funding Issue Heats Up

Right out of the gate, both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature put forward transportation funding packages. It has been called the issue of the session. The need for reliable, efficient transportation touches everyone in...more

Construction Case Law Update - January, 2015

FLORIDA STATE CASES - Slavin Doctrine; Design Contracts - Under the Slavin doctrine, a subcontractor design company was not liable despite negligently designing intersection traffic lights that resulted in a fatal car...more

New President Ready to Take the Reins of International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association

Javier Rodriguez, P.E., Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX), is ready to begin his role as president of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) for 2015. Rodriguez was...more

Availability Payment or Toll Concession: Is there a hybrid approach?

At the TRB P3 Subcommittee meeting on January 12, 2015, among the topics discussed is the growth in the U.S. P3 market of the availability payment approach and less use of toll concessions. Availability payment contracts...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: Municipalities in the Bakken Push Back Against Increasing Train Traffic

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, towns in the western United States grew and thrived around the railroad. In fact, the railroad tracks often became a central geographic feature within towns, birthing the...more

Drone on Drones: Drone Zones

The policy debate over domestic use of drones is ongoing, and legal issues surrounding privacy are still being worked out. As 2015 begins, however, it seems appropriate to look forward to where drones may be going in the near...more

Transportation Conformity Form Over Substance

A few determined environmental advocates have attempted for years to use the Clean Air Act’s strict transportation conformity rules to tie up planned highway improvements. For the most part, courts have rebuffed those...more

SANDAG Seeks Review of CEQA Decision Invalidating EIR for Its Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy

On January 6, 2015, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) filed a petition asking the California Supreme Court to review the decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation, et al. v. San Diego Association at...more

San Diego MPO's Analysis Of RTP's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rejected

In a decision with implications for all transportation projects in California, the California Court of Appeal held that the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation projects in a metropolitan transportation...more

Public Works Board Moving Forward with Condemnations as High Speed Rail Project Breaks Ground

As the High Speed Rail Authority (“Authority”) prepares to begin construction this week of the first segment of the High Speed Rail Project (the “Project”), the State Public Works Board is concurrently scrambling to consider...more

Keystone Pipeline May Be First Clash between President and New Congress

So the new Congress has been sworn in back in Washington, and the nation gears up for the first big clash between the Republican-controlled Congress and President Obama.  What will the first major battle be:  health care;...more

California Supreme Court Poised To Decide Key CEQA Questions: The Court’s Lineup For 2015

The California Supreme Court’s involvement in CEQA cases has been relatively limited since he statute’s enactment in 1970, with the court taking  review of at most one or two appellate court decisions a year.  The last two...more

The Federal Surface Transportation Board Finds California Environmental Quality Act Preempted as Applied to High-Speed Rail...

In a surprising decision, Surface Transportation Board Decision, Docket No. FD35861, December 12, 2014 (“Docket”), the Federal Surface Transportation Board (“Board”) ruled that the application of the California Environmental...more

Raleigh "Splits" Department of Planning and Development Into Two New Departments

The City of Raleigh, growing at a seemingly undeniable pace, is aiming to "get ahead" of the governance challenges such growth portends by splitting the City's Department of Planning and Development into two separate...more

“Making CEQA A Federal Case? Recent Actions of California’s Supreme Court and the Federal Surface Transportation Board Set Up A...

Controversy has dogged the California high speed rail project since before its inception with the 2008 passage of Proposition 1A, the bond measure providing the project’s initial funding. The controversy has not abated in the...more

Surface Transportation Board Rules That ICCTA Preempts CEQA Review of California’s High-Speed Train System

On December 12, 2014, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued a decision, in response to a petition filed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), finding that the Interstate Commerce Commission...more

Real Estate and Land Use - December 2014

San Diego Regional Sustainable Strategies Plan Invalidated; SANDAG Has Requested Supreme Court Review - Cleveland National Forest Foundation et al. v. San Diego Association of Governments (November 24, 2014) Fourth...more

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