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BC Environmental Assessment Office Fees

The Province of British Columbia approved an Order in Council dated April 11, 2014 to establish environmental assessment fees in British Columbia for the review of environmental assessment applications, orders and enforcement...more

Bright Line Rule: Collateral Estoppel Precludes Attacks on Quasi-Judicial Permit Decisions (But Stay Tuned: Rehearing Granted on...

Simply stated: “[a] collateral attack is not a substitute for an appeal” reasoned the Second Appellate District Court in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission (2nd Dist., Div. 6, 03/18/2014, B243015) ___Cal.App.2nd___,...more

Ohio Links Earthquakes to Fracking, Toughens Drilling Rules Near Fault Lines

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is tightening permit conditions for horizontal drillers after a report from state geologists found a “probable connection” between hydraulic fracturing and a string of small...more

Court Clarifies "Taking" Of Endangered Species And Highlights What's "Enough" Under CEQA

In Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife, No. B245141 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Mar. 20, 2014), the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision, which found that the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s...more

Some CEQA Reminders From The Third District: Urban Decay Requires Actual Mitigation When Identified By EIR As A Significant...

In a lengthy opinion filed February 28, 2014, and ordered partially published on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Yolo County Superior Court’s judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...more

Federal Agency Approvals Beyond the Scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

In the last month, two separate federal district courts have declined to extend the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (MBTA), to federal agency approvals of projects that plaintiffs alleged could...more

District Court Holds That The Incidental Take Statement Requirement Under Section 7 Of The Endangered Species Act Does Not Apply...

Last Thursday, a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the incidental take requirements in section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) do not apply to listed plant species. In Center...more

EPA’s Residual Permitting Authority

Continuing on the stormwater theme I began in my last post, the next topic I intend to cover is EPA’s so-called “residual” authority under the Clean Water Act. The statute specifically requires stormwater permits for...more

Clarification or More Regulation? Agencies Issue Proposed Waters of the United States Rulemaking

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) on March 25, 2014 jointly issued a proposed rulemaking (Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW- 2011-0880) intended to clarify...more

SB 743: Tinkering with CEQA for the future

After more than 40 years on the books, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) continues to be the focus of contentious legislation seeking to reform the environmental law that dominates land development throughout...more

Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments (February 2014)

A. Fast Track Regulations - 1. 9VAC5-10. General Definitions (Rev. D13) (amending 9VAC5-10-20). Statutory Authority: § 10.1-1308 of the Code of Virginia; federal Clean Air Act (§§ 110, 111, 123, 129, 171, 172,...more

Third District Construes CEQA Guidelines’ Class 23 Categorical Exemption And “Unusual Circumstances” Exception In Rejecting...

In an exceptionally thorough and well-reasoned opinion, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging respondent 14th District Agricultural Association’s (District)...more

City Fails to Adequately Mitigate "Urban Decay" and Energy Impacts of Big Box Retail Project

In the latest decision addressing challenges to "big box" projects under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), on February 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal invalidated the approval of a retail project in...more

Waters of the US: EPA Seeks Input to Clarify Scope of Clean Water Act

BB&K is Assembling a Coalition of Local Governments to Provide Input - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released a Proposed Rule designed to clarify their regulatory...more

CEQA Alert: Court of Appeal Addresses Inadequate Blight/Urban Decay Mitigation and Energy Impact Analyses

In California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (opinion filed 2/28/14; partial publication ordered 4/1/14), the Third Appellate District ruled that the City of Woodland violated the California Environmental Quality...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Complex Landfill Dispute

Can the Illinois state courts order mandatory cleanups of older landfills? The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide that issue late last month, allowing a petition for leave to appeal in People ex rel. Madigan v. J. T....more

Federal Court Ruling Creates Effluent Limit Paradox - Violations may lead to suits, penalties under Clean Water Act

A federal judge in West Virginia ruled on March 31, 2014 that holders of water discharge permits, known as NPDES permits, must comply with water quality standards for parameters that the permit only requires to be monitored. ...more

No Bull: Santa Cruz County Rodeo Qualifies for CEQA Exemption

In Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State of California ex rel. 14th District Agricultural Association, et al. (3rd App. Dist., March 26, 2014), the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision to exempt a...more

Dispatches From the “Sue and Settle” Front: Trade Groups Do Not Have Standing to Challenge Settlements Regarding ESA Listing...

Last week, a federal court, for the fourth time, found that property owners’ groups do not have standing to challenge a settlement between the administration and conservation groups under which the administration agreed to...more

Second District Addresses Interesting CEQA and CESA Species Mitigation Issues in Lengthy Partially Published Opinion Upholding...

In a lengthy, mostly published opinion filed on March 20, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate, and upheld – as against state law challenges brought by a...more

California Adopts New General Industrial Storm Water Permit

On April 1, 2014, after 12 years of drafts, public comments and deliberations, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) adopted a new General Industrial Storm Water Permit (“General Permit”), which...more

Obama Administration Releases Proposed Rule on "Waters of the United States"

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule that will impact many segments of the U.S. economy, greatly expanding future permitting requirements. The proposed rule...more

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