California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 5, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus

California's New Hydraulic Fracturing Law Cited In Pending CEQA Lawsuit

EnergyWire - Oct 30

Earlier this year, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks and the Environmental Working Group filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court against the California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), charging that the agency allowed hydraulic fracturing without requiring necessary reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. Last week, the Western States Petroleum Association filed a motion in the case, arguing that California's law new hydraulic fracturing law, known as S.B. 4, provides a basis for dismissal of the case. "Since the Legislature has set forth in S.B. 4 how [the state] is required to comply with [the California Environmental Quality Act] as it relates to the practice of hydraulic fracturing, plaintiff's claim for declaratory relief is moot," WSPA said.

3 States, Province Sign West Coast Climate Pact

San Francisco Chronicle - Oct 29

On October 28, a coalition of west coast states and one Canadian province signed a regional pact to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming. The governors of California, Oregon and Washington, along with the premier of British Columbia, agreed to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions across an area that includes 53 million people. Under the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, the four West Coast governments will also use similar rules to encourage the use of alternative fuels and the adoption of electric cars, and they will look for ways to deal with ocean acidification, a side effect of rising carbon dioxide levels and a threat to shellfish.

High-Speed Rail Opponents Ask Judge To Halt California High-Speed Rail Authority Spending of Proposition 1A Bond Money

Fresno Bee - Oct 25

Opponents of high-speed rail in Kings County filed a brief Thursday in Sacramento, asking a judge to bar the California High-Speed Rail Authority from spending or committing any Proposition 1A bond money until the agency has complied with the 2008 ballot act. The brief filed on behalf of farmer John Tos, Hanford homeowner Aaron Fukuda and the Kings County Board of Supervisors comes as the two sides prepare for a November 8 hearing in Sacramento County Superior Court. There, a judge will hear arguments over what remedies should be imposed on the rail agency for violating funding and environmental requirements of Prop. 1A, the $9.9 billion bond measure approved by California voters.

Sriracha Factory complaints: Irwindale wants plant temporarily shut down

ABC Local News - Oct 29

The city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit on October 28, asking a judge to stop production at the Huy Fong Foods factory, where the hot sauce Sriracha is manufactured. Residents have complained of burning eyes, irritated throats, and headaches from the chili odor. Irwindale is asking a judge to temporarily shut down the plant until it agrees to install a half-million-dollar filtration system.


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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