California Environmental Law and Policy Update - January 16, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus

High court to hear case on Port of L.A.'s Clean Truck Program

Los Angeles Times - Jan 11

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the trucking industry's challenge to the Clean Truck Program at the Port of Los Angeles in a case testing whether cities and states have any authority to limit pollution from trucks that help move long-haul cargo.

NRC chief says San Onofre plant won't reopen until its safety is certain

Los Angeles Times - Jan 14

The chief of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Allison Macfarlane, made her first visit Monday to the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant, offering assurance that the facility will remain closed until its safety is certain but giving few hints about its ultimate fate.

Ranchers sue to prevent federal government relocation of bighorn sheep

CourtHouse News - Jan 14

The federal government is failing to protect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep from habitat destruction and predators, domestic sheep ranchers claim in Federal Court. Nevada-based F.I.M Corp. and its owners Fred Fulstone, Marianne Leinassar and Kristofor Leinassar sued the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and their top national and regional officials, under the Endangered Species Act and Administrative Procedures Act.

EPA claims Shell's grounded rig violated clean air rules

Biz Journal - Jan 14

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has claimed that Royal Dutch Shell Plc violated the Clean Air Act during its handling of the Kulluk, a conical drilling unit, and a fleet of vessels in the Beaufort Sea off the North Slope of Alaska.

California cuts GHGs for third straight year

Environmental Leader - Jan 15

California’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped for the third straight year with power plants, cement facilities, oil refineries, general combustion sources and other facilities emitting 111 million tons of CO2e in 2011, according to numbers released by the California Air Resources Board.

Vermont appeals ruling that state lacks authority to close Entergy Corp. nuclear plant

Bloomberg Law - Jan 14

Entergy Corp. faces appeals court arguments by Vermont that the state has the authority to shut its only nuclear power plant. Lawyers for Entergy, the operator of the Vermont Yankee plant, are set to argue a district judge was correct in ruling that the decision whether to close a reactor for safety reasons belongs to the federal government and not the state.

'Clean water, clean beaches fee' may be coming to L.A. County

Whittier Daily News - Jan 12

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hear arguments Tuesday about whether to place a measure on the ballot seeking to impose a "Clean Water, Clean Beaches" fee on 2.2 million parcel owners.

Suit alleges purchase of local water retailer done only to benefit Newhall Ranch project

Santa Clarita News - Jan 8

Two Santa Clarita Valley-based environmental groups have filed a lawsuit with the state's Public Utilities Commission alleging that the purchase of a local water retailer by a wholesaler was done illegally and only to benefit the massive Newhall Ranch project.