Zoning, Planning & Land Use Environmental

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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

Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Subsequent Review Rules in San Mateo Gardens Case

The California Supreme Court provided needed clarification to some aspects of the operation of CEQA’s “subsequent review” rules (Pub. Resources Code, § 21166; CEQA Guidelines, § 15162) in its highly anticipated opinion, filed...more

BLM Moves Forward with Phase I of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) has now been approved, paving the way for streamlined permitting and environmental review of qualified renewable energy projects on Bureau of Land Management...more

Developer Awarded Cost of Preparing Administrative Record in CEQA Lawsuit

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) typically proceed as petitions for administrative mandamus. This means the petitioner is asking the court to review an agency’s decision and ultimately issue a...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 Invalidates "New Project" Test - Court Upholds Use of Addendum to Mitigated Negative Declaration Under...

In a major win for agencies and project sponsors, the Supreme Court of California affirmed that addenda can appropriately be used to consider modifications to a previously approved negative declaration or Environmental Impact...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Threatened Status for San Fernando Valley Spineflower

On September 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed to list as threatened the San Fernando Valley spineflower (Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina), a plant species native to Southern California, under...more

National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Propose Listing One Hawaiian Species and Four Marine Species

On September 19, 2016, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published proposed rules to list two species of dolphin and two species of guitarfish under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS proposes to list the...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

Ohio Supreme Court Decides Dormant Mineral Act Cases

On September 15, 2016 the Ohio Supreme Court issued three opinions providing long-awaited clarity to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“ODMA” or “Act”). Most notably, the court ruled that the 1989 ODMA did not automatically allow...more

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring. This week’s post includes: an announcement by the International Criminal Court regarding the...more

California’s New Climate Change Laws Tighten Limits on GHG, Increase Legislative Oversight of CARB

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law last week two controversial anti-climate change bills that will tighten greenhouse gas (GHG) limits by 40% and increase legislative supervision of the California Air Resources...more

ESA Roundup – Listing Decisions and Recovery Actions

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have issued listing decisions on a number of species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in recent days, and USFWS has announced...more

Back to the Fracking Drawing Board for BLM? Fracking’s Risks Are Too Obvious to Ignore

Last week, Judge Michael Fitzgerald granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in a citizen suit alleging that BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement prepared to address whether to open certain lands in California to mineral...more

[Webinar] Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - September 20th, 10:00am PDT

Join Nossaman attorneys for a timely discussion of new laws that are changing the landscape of water resource management. This webinar for CLE credit* will cover critical water-related legal topics including implementation...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Precondemnation Procedures

On July 21, 2016, the California Supreme Court in Property Reserve v. Superior Court upheld the state’s precondemnation entry and testing statutes provided they were reformed to allow impacted property owners the ability to...more

Due Diligence For Bankable Solar PV Projects

Sharp reductions in the price of solar PV technology, dramatic technological advancement and (until recently) generous subsidies for solar PV generation have enabled developers to project reliable and attractive revenues over...more

Do you need a Section 404 permit for your real estate development?

Real estate developers recognize the importance of obtaining a Phase I environmental site assessment to review existing environmental site conditions. However, other conditions — creeks, streams, ditches or other water...more

BLM Must Take a “Hard Look” at Fracking Impacts

On September 6, 2016, a federal Judge issued an Order finding that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) failed to take a “hard look,” as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), at the potential...more

California Moves Forward With Aggressive Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets – Governor Brown Signs Into Law SB 32 and AB 197

On September 8, California's Governor Brown signed companion bills from the Senate and Assembly, Senate Bill 32 (SB 32) and Assembly Bill 197 (AB 197), continuing California on a path to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions –...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown signs into law two landmark climate bills - San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 8 - Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed SB32, the nation’s toughest climate law,...more

Sixth District Rejects SMARA And CEQA Challenges To Permanente Quarry Reclamation Plan Amendment And Related EIR

In a published opinion filed August 31, 2016, the Sixth Appellate District Court of Appeal rejected claims under CEQA and the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (“SMARA”; Pub. Resources Code, §§ 2700, et seq.), and affirmed...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

California Governor Extends CEQA Litigation Streamlining Provisions for Large Projects Promoting Job Creation and Innovative...

Law Will Expedite Schedules for Qualified Projects - On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill extending special California Environmental Quality Act litigation streamlining provisions for large,...more

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