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President Unveils Build America Investment Initiative Today

President Barak Obama today announced the Build America Investment Initiative (the “Initiative”). According to the Fact Sheet released by the White House in advance of the announcement, the purpose of the Initiative is to...more

Eight Is Not Enough: CEQA Challenge To Eighth Addendum To San Jose International Airport Master Plan EIR Is Rejected By Sixth...

In a decision filed June 6, but not certified for publication until July 2, 2014, the Sixth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding the City of San Jose’s eighth addendum to its Airport Master...more

CEQA to Give Cities More Control Over Transit Projects

Eric Jaffe’s recent article for The Atlantic’s CityLab website: “Transit Projects Are About to Get Much, Much Easier in California” explains that “California will soon reform traffic analysis under CEQA by replacing ‘level of...more

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Calls Proposed Denton Fracking Ban ‘Extremely Misguided’; Asks City Council to Reject Measure

On July 11th, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman sent a letter to the mayor and city council members for Denton, Texas asking that the council reject a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton. Chairman...more

Ground Control to Major Tom: Appeals Court Shuts Down CEQA Challenge to San Jose Airport Master Plan

In Citizens Against Airport Pollution v. City of San Jose, No. H038781 (Cal. Ct. App. 6th Dist., June 6, 2014), Citizens Against Airport Pollution (“CAAP”) appealed the trial court’s ruling that the City of San Jose’s...more

Amtrak and Maryland DOT Plan for Improvements to the Vital Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel Moves to the Public Input Stage

The 141-year-old Baltimore and Potomac (B&P) Tunnel is a major bottleneck on the Northeast Corridor, but Amtrak, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are conducting a...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Long-term money a big boost for California's high-speed rail - Contra Costa Times - Jun 17: Gov. Jerry Brown scored a win for California's $68 billion high-speed rail project by...more

Update from the American Public Transportation Association 2014 Rail Conference

The American Public Transportation Association (“APTA”) held its Rail Conference on June 15 through 18, 2014, in Montréal, QC. In addition to the technical sessions for which APTA is well-known, a main theme of the Rail...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Kings County lawsuit challenges Fresno-Bakersfield high-speed rail: Fresno Bee - Jun 5: The Kings County Board of Supervisors, the Farm Bureau, and a group of county residents filed...more

DOT Makes Changes To TIGER VI Application Review Process

The U.S. Department of Transportation has initiated changes to its TIGER Application review process effective for the pending TIGER VI round of funding. The most important change is that once a project receives a technical...more

Construction & Land Use Newsletter - June 2014

In This Issue: - Out of State... Out of Mind? Ensuring that Local and Out-of State Construction Companies Play by the Same Rules - Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a... Plane!: Proposed FAA Policy Could Affect...more

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a…Plane!: Proposed FAA Policy Could Affect Building Heights

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area has no shortage of airplanes flying over the region. There is also no shortage of developers and landowners who want to create the region’s landmark buildings and skyscrapers which may...more

P3 Legislation A Hot Topic At The Florida Logistics & Trade Conference

Public-private partnerships (P3s) received significant attention at the 2014 Florida Logistics and Trade Conference. The overall consensus of the conference’s P3 Panel, which was moderated by Albert Dotson, is that the state...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - May 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - New high-speed train route approved despite 'unavoidable' effects in Valley: The Fresno Bee - May 12: The California High-Speed Rail Authority approved a section of rail line from...more

Texas Environmental Update

Gunnison Sage Grouse Continues Its Wobbly Path Toward Listing Energy Legal Blog, May 14, 2014 - Last week, the Gunnison Sage Grouse took another detour on its road to being listed under the Endangered Species Act...more

California District Court Finds Biological Assessments Inconsistent And Enjoins Caltrans' Project

In Souza v. California Department of Transportation, No. 13-cv-04407 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2014), plaintiffs sought to enjoin a project proposed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to modify U.S. Route 199...more

Flash Boys and the Transportation Corridor Act

Michael Lewis' new book, Flash Boys concerns high frequency traders using advance notice of a stock purchase to reap extra profits. Fittingly, the North Carolina Supreme Court's decision in Beroth Oil v. NCDOT was published...more

"Rails to Trails" or "Rails to Trespass": Supreme Court Speaks on the Abandonment of Certain Railroad Rights of Way

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States (please, there is no such thing as the "United States Supreme Court") decided a very interesting case about easements. "Easements?", you ask. Yes, easements. We use them...more

Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S. – the United States’ theory of land ownership derailed

In Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S., the United States Supreme Court held that abandoned railway rights-of-way that had been granted to railroad companies under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 left underlying...more

Anticipating Washington State’s New Industrial Stormwater General Permit

The Washington Department of Ecology is in the process of renewing the current Industrial Stormwater General Permit (ISGP), which is set to expire on January 1, 2015. Current permit holders will need to reapply for continued...more

SCOTUS: Federal Government Retains No Interest in Abandoned Railroad Rights-of-Way

Congress grants a railroad a right-of-way across public land. The federal government then grants the land to a private landowner, who takes the parcel subject to the railroad right-of-way. The railroad later...more

California High Speed Rail Authority Gains New Approvals to Move Project Forward: Eminent Domain Proceedings Commenced on Eight...

Despite recent obstacles, the California High Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) remains steadfast in its determination to complete the high-speed rail project (the “Project”), bolstered by recent approvals from various...more

Supreme Court Ruling Represents Major Shift for Railroad Rights of Way

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the United States Forest Service could not construct a trail on an abandoned railroad right of way (ROW) that crosses through private property. Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173,...more

4 Key Questions For Evaluating PPP Opportunities

Public-private partnerships are all the rage, as governments seek new ways to deliver public infrastructure, facilities and services in the face of daunting budget limitations and doubts about older procurement modes. PPP...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - March 11, 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - California lawmakers pass $687 billion drought plan -- San Francisco CBS Local - Feb 27: California lawmakers have passed a $687 million plan to provide immediate relief to...more

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