California Environmental Law and Policy Update - May 20, 2013


Environmental and Policy Focus

Federal omission in closing oyster farm broke law, court told

Los Angeles Times - May 14

The U.S. Interior Department violated federal law by failing to conduct an environmental review before ordering a Northern California oyster farmer to shutter his operation, attorneys for the farmer told a federal appeals court panel in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Loggerhead turtle deal to bring critical habitat

CourtHouse News - May 14

The U.S. government has settled claims that it failed to set a critical habitat for the loggerhead sea turtle, which it has listed as a threatened species for 34 years. Under the settlement, the government must establish terrestrial and marine critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic and North Pacific loggerhead sea turtle populations by July 1, 2014.

Ag District settles Sierra Club lawsuit

Del Mar Times - May 8

A lawsuit filed by the local chapter of the Sierra Club against the state agency that runs the Del Mar Fairgrounds has been settled, officials announced Tuesday, May 7. The club sued the 22nd District Agricultural Association over potential environmental impacts from a master plan for the fairgrounds approved by the district in 2011. Another lawsuit involving the master plan, filed by the cities of Solana Beach and Del Mar and the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, was settled in November.

Environmentalists praise fed ruling on San Onofre

Boston Globe - May 13

A federal panel Monday sided with environmentalists who have called for lengthy hearings on a plan to restart the ailing San Onofre nuclear power plant — a decision that further clouds the future of the twin reactors.

L.A. council approves controversial rail yard for port complex

Los Angeles Times - May 8

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a controversial rail yard serving the harbor, setting the stage for possible court challenges alleging violations of environmental and civil rights laws.

Oakland officials withhold air pollution plan

East Bay Express - May 14

The California Transportation Commission approved $176 million in funding last week for the redevelopment of the old Oakland Army Base — a potentially $1 billion project intended to reinvigorate the city and the nation's fifth busiest seaport. Local hiring and contracting requirements also mean the port's expansion will provide economic benefits for the residents of West Oakland. But those benefits will be accompanied by increased air pollution — an impact that city planning documents call "significant and unavoidable," and one that the city, according to regulators, isn't doing enough to prepare for.

California, Nevada governors agree to preserve Lake Tahoe Compact, renew commitment from both states

South Tahoe Now News - May 14

The governors of California and Nevada have agreed to renew a bi-state partnership to preserve, protect and enhance Lake Tahoe through the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Compact. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Calif. Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced Tuesday an agreement that renews the partnership, which has been under threat of repeal.

Court rules against Vista Canyon Ranch project

The Signal - May 14

A Superior Court judge has handed a setback to planners of a large Sand Canyon-area development in a decision that environmental groups called a victory and the developer said dealt largely with technical issues.


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