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Update – City of Los Angeles Releases List of 13,500 Soft First Story Buildings Targeted for Earthquake Retrofitting

The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (DBS) has released its list of wood frame soft-story buildings that may be required to undergo mandatory retrofitting. The list can be obtained by request to DBS, and...more

Can Solar Reboot Your Coal-Fired Plant Site?

The future of coal-fired plants is not bright. With regulations weighing on them, many plant operators are powering down and asking themselves what’s next for their sites. Solar offers viable options for reusing a plant site....more

Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or...more

MassDEP Proposes Revisions to Facilities of Public Accommodation Regulations

After a multi-year study process involving an advisory group of stakeholders, the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is proposing revisions to regulations implementing the state waterways licensing program under...more

Two San Diego Projects Moving Forward

There are two interesting projects in San Diego County that are moving forward, both of which involve at least some use of eminent domain. The San Marcos Creek Specific Plan is proceeding in, not surprisingly, San...more

Corner Briefing: California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act

This is the second edition in an ongoing series of "Corner Briefings" highlighting urban infill legal tools and opportunities. These updates identify new legal cases, legislative updates, grant opportunities and other urban...more

Does a Project’s Impact on the “Character of the Community” Need to Be Evaluated under CEQA?

Harry Rogers owned and operated a horse boarding facility called the Stock Farm, in the City of Poway, California – a city that proudly calls itself the “City in the Country.” Rogers wanted to shut down the Stock Farm and...more

Fourth District Holds CEQA’s Definition of “Project” Does Not Encompass Municipal Ordinance Merely Restating Existing Prohibition...

In a published opinion filed March 25, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition that challenged a 2013 ordinance of the City of Upland which expressly prohibited...more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a particular site by issuing a “jurisdictional determination” (JD). A JD is of great significance to...more

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

Armada of Lobbyists, Lawyers and Consultants Has to Fear Curtatone in His Rowboat

If you’re in a construction trade, you’re probably not too happy with Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, the only person standing between Steve Wynn and his dream of a $2 billion casino in Everett. Yet I have to believe...more

FWS Proposes Revisions to Development Mitigation Policy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published draft revisions on March 8, 2016 to its 1981 Mitigation Policy for mitigating the impacts of development projects to natural resources. See Proposed Revisions to the U.S....more

Business Owner Ordered to Pay $1.3 Million for Leaking UST

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) obtained a judgment against William Arnett for $1.3 million for underground storage tank (UST) law violations that stem back to the late 1980s. A Maricopa County Superior...more

DEC Issues Revised Regulations to Enable More Properties to Qualify for BCP Tax Credits

On Wednesday, March 9, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposed to amend New York State's Brownfields law's implementing regulations to enable more properties to qualify for BCP tangible...more

Real Estate and Land Use - February 2016

New Draft CEQA Guidelines Evaluating Transportation Impacts—Level of Service No Longer Considered to Be an Environmental Impact - The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) was mandated by SB 743 in 2013 to...more

Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing Issued by Secretary Jewell

On January 15, 2016, Interior Secretary Jewell halted federal coal leasing on public lands. Western coal companies are attempting to sort out the implications of the moratorium and exemptions set out in Secretarial Order...more

FERC holds CO microhydro needs license

In an order issued earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the developer of a micro-hydropower project proposed in Colorado must obtain a license for the Patton Colorado Hydropower Project's...more

Developers Dodge Bullet with Northern Long-Eared Bat

Developers have to deal with a number of environmental issues. These include stormwater management and potential impacts to wetlands, historic resources, and threatened and endangered species. The northern long-eared bat is...more

Stop the Presses. Superfund is Stupid.

I know that pointing out CERCLA’s stupidity has something of a dog bites man quality, but sometimes Superfund’s stupidity bears repeating. Today’s exhibit? New York v. Next Millenium Realty, in which Judge Feuerstein held –...more

Maryland Environmental Reporting Regulations On Hold For Now

Property owners and developers in Maryland have dodged another bullet, at least for now, with respect to their environmental reporting obligations. On October 31, 2014, the Maryland Department of Environment (“MDE”) proposed...more

EPA Proposes to Add Vapor Intrusion Pathway Assessment to Superfund Listing System

Last week, we wrote about an audit that MassDEP is conducting of previously closed sites to look for high concentrations of TCE in soils and groundwater. The intent of the audit is to address potential vapor intrusion. The...more

Eminent Domain: Be Careful What You Ask For

The condemnation of property for public works may not always be as clean and easy as the government would like. Although local governments are often critical players in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated...more

Updates to CEQA Guidelines for Transportation Impacts Analysis Under SB 743

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a revised draft of thresholds for measuring transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). These draft...more

Real Estate and Land Use - January 2016

Using Project Objectives to Select a Reasonable Range of Alternatives - North Coast Rivers Alliance v. A.G. Kawamura (January 4, 2016) Third District Court of Appeal Case No. C072067 - Why It Matters: This opinion...more

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