Zoning, Planning & Land Use Environmental

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Court Vacates Final Rule Listing Lesser Prairie Chicken

On September 1, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Midland Division vacated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“Service”) Final Rule listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken (“LPC”) as threatened. The...more

D.C. Court Largely Upholds Loggerhead Sea Turtle Biological Opinion

On August 31, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia largely upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (Service) Biological Opinion (BiOp) addressing the impacts of seven fisheries on the Northwest...more

Clean Power Rule Challenges Will Proceed Sooner or Later, But Its Goal May Already Be Close at Hand

Legal challenges filed almost immediately after President Obama announced the Clean Power Rule may be premature. That is what attorneys for EPA told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently in...more

Clean Water Rule Halted in Arizona and 12 Other States

On August 27, the day before it was set to become final, a federal district court in North Dakota halted implementation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of The...more

Land Use Matters, August 2015

City of Los Angeles - City Council - Mobility Plan 2035 Approved - On August 11, 2015, the city council passed “Mobility Plan 2035,” a comprehensive revision of the 1999 Transportation Element of the General Plan....more

California Groundwater Update: Public Comments Due For Basin Boundary Regulations

As one of many implementation steps under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA” codified as Water Code §§ 10720 et seq.), basin boundary regulations were released recently by the California Department of Water...more

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling That New York State’s Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing Did Not Extend the...

New York’s 2010 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, culminating in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s formal ban of the practice in his state on December 17, 2014, made many large waves in the political, legal, and public arenas, the...more

District Court Enjoins Federal Regulations Revising Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

North Dakota v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 3:15-cv-00059 (D.N.D. Aug. 27, 2015) - A federal judge, Ralph R. Erickson, in North Dakota today granted several states’ request for a preliminary injunction to...more

Federal Judge Enjoins Implementation of EPA and USACE's New Clean Water Rule

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota enjoined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from implementing the recently...more

Controversial Waters of the U.S. Rule Blocked in 13 States

The WOTUS rule is concerning to many industry sectors because it would significantly expand Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction for the agencies. In particular, the rule would extend jurisdiction to broad definitions of...more

WOTUS Litigation Update: Confusion Breeds Confusion

Perhaps it is poetic justice. The litigation over the final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is as disjointed and confusing as the rule itself. Following a key court ruling yesterday, the WOTUS rule is now...more

Greater sage-grouse and land use in the inter-mountain west

The greater sage-grouse—a ground-dwelling, chicken-like bird—has been the focus of controversy pitting conservation against energy development and ranching interests across the inter-mountain west. The greater sage-grouse’s...more

Federal Court Stops Clean Water Act Rule from Going into Effect in 13 States

On August 27, 2015, Chief Judge Ralph Erickson of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a preliminary injunction that stops EPA’s and the Army Corps of Engineers’ new rule defining federal...more

Ninth Circuit Holds no NPDES Permit Required for Klamath Straits Drain

In ONRC Action v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Bureau of Reclamation was not required to secure a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES")...more

First Blood: North Dakota Federal Court Strikes WOTUS Rule

With so many challenges filed in so many venues to EPA’s Waters of the United States or WOTUS rule, it seemed inevitable that some plaintiffs somewhere would find a sympathetic court. And so it is that thirteen states found...more

OPR Releases Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments for Public Comments

On August 11, 2015, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a Preliminary Discussion Draft of Changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Preliminary Discussion Draft). The OPR...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Rule Regarding Critical Habitat Determination for the Marbled Murrelet

On August 25, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule relating to the existing critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). The murrelet is listed as a threatened...more

The Ninth Circuit Holds Transfer of Water in Klamath River Basin Does Not Require Clean Water Act NPDES Permit

On August 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Oregon district court’s ruling that a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is not required for the discharge of water from...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and 2014 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report EPA is announcing the availability of its Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines...more

Is that Wetland Jurisdictional? A Practical Guide to the New Clean Water Rule

The Clean Water Rule recently issued by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers defines the scope of federal jurisdiction over wetlands and other “waters of the United States.”[1] It’s effective on August 28, 2015, so you need...more

First District Holds Public Agency’s Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents In Response To PRA Request Does Not Waive...

On July 31, 2015, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division One, filed a 23-page published opinion holding that the inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client privileged and work product protected...more

Judge Moon's Denial of Preliminary Injunction in Route 29 Lawsuit

Several months ago, business owners on Route 29 filed a lawsuit against federal and state transportation officials challenging the plan to build a grade separated interchange at Route 29 and Rio Road. The plaintiffs claimed...more

U.S. EPA Proposes Methane Limits for Oil and Gas Industry

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rules to limit emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), from certain new and modified facilities in the oil and natural gas industry. The...more

A Legal Morass: Overlapping Takings Law With the Endangered Species Act

Last week, Jeremy Jacobs posted an interesting article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Horne v. Dep’t of Agriculture, No. 14-275 (U.S. Jun. 22, 2015), and its potential application to Endangered Species Act...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Clean Water Act rule faces challenges from both sides - Courthouse News Service - Aug 18: A widely publicized new rule clarifying the definition of ’waters of the United States’ under the...more

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