Zoning, Planning & Land Use Updates

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Fairfax Circuit Court Limits Homeowners’ Ability to Challenge Zoning Administrator

Contentious land use approvals often result in lawsuits, which, even when unsuccessful, can lead to costly delays for developers. In the recent case styled In Re: November 20, 2013 Decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals of...more

NGOs Comment on EC's Working Conclusions Concerning Transparency Measures for Nanomaterials on the Market

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) posted on January 13, 2015, a paper entitled “NGO comments on Transparency measures for nanomaterials on the market: Working conclusions.” EEB, the Center for International...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The House and Senate were busy this week with numerous subcommittee and committee meetings – ethics reform, surface water withdrawal, Pollution Control Act/DHEC Board review, and budget deliberations were a few of the items...more

Would You Like Fries with that Sweater? Retailer and Restaurant Pairings

As retailers continue to embrace the omni channel retail experience, our blogging team explores consumer behavior behind the new trends. One topic we have followed lately is the convergence of retail and restaurants. For...more

Recent Cases on Clean Air Act Preemption of Common Law Torts Upend Conventional Wisdom

Two recent appellate-level decisions allowing state common law tort claims against an intrastate emitting source to avoid Clean Air Act (CAA) preemption have surprised many CAA litigators. The outcome in both Bell v....more

Federal Judge Rules that State and Federal Law Preempts New Mexico’s Fracking Ban

On January 20, 2015 a U.S. District Judge overturned New Mexico’s ban on hydrocarbon extraction, which included a prohibition on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the state. (SWEPI, LP v. Mora County et al., Case No....more

Finding Fault with Fracking – Lawsuits and Earthquakes

Lisa Frick, our fictional Denton resident, who collected anti-fracking ordinance signatures to put on the Denton City Ballot now complains that fracking near old Texas Stadium caused earthquakes that harmed her twin sister...more

Supreme People’s Court Issues Judicial Interpretation Addressing Environmental Civil Public Interest Litigation

On January 6, 2015, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a judicial interpretation on environmental civil public interest litigation, effective January 7, 2015....more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: District Court Finds Expert Proof Insufficient to Prove Causation (1/15)

Causation is often the biggest hurdle a plaintiff must clear in proving a toxic tort case. For that reason, it would be expedient if a plaintiff could get to trial on the issue of causation merely by showing that...more

NMFS Issues New BiOp for Pesticide Effects on Pacific Salmon, but the Methodology Used and Mitigation Proposed Remain...

On January 20, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued its latest Biological Opinion (BiOp) in a series of BiOps evaluating potential effects of pesticide use on salmon in the Pacific Northwest....more

BRA/EDIC Details Response to Audit

Under its newly-appointed director, Brian Golden, the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (BRA/EDIC) has released its 2014 Year in Review report entitled “Building the New Boston...more

Drug Disposal Ordinance: Supreme Court Writ Filed

On December 29, 2014, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (“PhRMA”), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (“BIO”), and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (“GPhA”) jointly filed a Petition for a...more

Washington State Producers and Retailers of Mercury-Containing Lights Face New Regulations

The New Year brought with it new obligations for any company that produces or sells mercury-containing lights in (or into) Washington State. As of January 1, 2015, the State’s recycling program and corresponding funding...more

State Board Issues Notice of Potential Curtailment of Surface Water Rights Diversions

Recent Rainfall Not Enough to Stop Drought Emergency Measures - Despite some rainfall and the temporary lifting of certain 2014 surface water curtailment notices during the fall, the drought emergency in California...more

Latest Proposed CEQA Legislation (SB 122) Seeks To Reform Administrative Record Process – At A Price

California Senate Bill No. 122 (SB 122), introduced by Senators Jackson, Hill and Roth on January 15, 2015, appears to be the newest stab at legislative CEQA “reform.” But numerous of SB 122’s embryonic provisions raise...more

Meanwhile in Texas … Who Should Decide About Fracking?

Rep. Phil King has introduced two bills relating to fracking. House Bill 539 would add requirements for municipalities that propose petitions or ordinances that will affect oil and natural gas production. The Bill would...more

Holt v. Hobbs Aftermath: Supreme Court Remands Native American Prisoners’ RLUIPA Claims

Less than a week after its decision in Holt v. Hobbs, the Supreme Court in Knight v. Thompson, No. 13-955 (2015), vacated and remanded the Eleventh Circuit’s rejection of Native American prisoners’ claims challenging prison...more

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

City of Fishers Appoints New Members to Advisory Plan Commission

The City of Fishers recently appointed the following members to the Advisory Plan Commission...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

Massachusetts Moves to Require Permits for “Large” Fill Projects

Because it will take time to develop regulations announced in December requiring permits for large-scale fill projects including both reclamation of quarries, sand pits and gravel pits, and redevelopment projects, MassDEP...more

Alabama CON Report

In this Report: - I. For Informational Purposes Only - II. Certificate of Need Program - III. Reviewability Determinations and Pending Reviewability Determinations - Excerpt from For...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

MassDEP Finalizes Underground Storage Tank Regulations

MassDEP’s new regulations governing Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) became effective January 2, 2015.  MassDEP took responsibility for USTs from the Department of Fire Services in 2009 and initially relied on existing...more

Court Upholds By Right Reconstruction Of Dimensionally Compliant Nonconforming Use

Closing another loophole in law of nonconforming structures and uses, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has held that no zoning relief is required to tear down and reconstruct a nonconforming use that is dimensionally...more

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