California Environmental Law and Policy Update - April 17, 2013

by Allen Matkins
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Environmental and Policy Focus

California needs to bolster regulation of fracking, report says

Los Angeles Times - Apr 12

California needs to strengthen regulation of hydraulic fracturing, according to a UC Berkeley Law School report that identified a number of shortcomings in state oversight of the controversial practice.

California Senate panel approves bill to regulate fracking

The Sacramento Bee - Apr 10

A bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing more tightly cleared a California Senate committee Tuesday. Sen. Fran Pavley authored Senate Bill 4 to regulate fracking and monitor "the public health and safety of Californians," she said.

Industry group sues to enjoin California's cap and trade carbon auction, alleging it amounts to an improper tax

The Sacramento Bee - Apr 16

A group of affected industry members, represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, filed a legal challenge to California's cap and trade carbon auction, calling it a tax that wasn't properly approved by the Legislature.

International cap-and-trade markets expanding - but still contentious

The Guardian - Apr 11

Nascent carbon emissions-trading exchanges in several countries are increasingly looking at options to interlink with one another, which advocates say would offer investors long-term stability, increase revenues for the development of renewable energy and strengthen corporate support for climate policy. Yet critics warn that so-called cap-and-trade systems are inefficient and create incentives for polluting industries to continue with business as usual. They also warn that the new systems in the United States are dependent on mechanisms that adversely impact poor and indigenous communities in developing countries.

North Coast Railroad Authority board reverses certification of environmental report; environmental groups suing NCRA call move desperate legal maneuver

The Times Standard - Apr 11

A decision by North Coast Railroad Authority aimed at defusing a pair of environmental lawsuits rankled two North Coast groups that have spent nearly two years taking the agency to court.

State takes another step toward plastic bag ban

Biz Journal - Apr 15

A bill introduced Monday in the California State Legislature would ban single-use plastic bags at California’s supermarkets and convenience stores, ending a patchwork system of city and county laws that business owners say puts them at a disadvantage. In addition to banning single-use plastic sacks, the bill would require grocery stores to sell reusable bags and charge a small fee for paper bags.

New lawsuit claims state wrongly put sanctions on Drakes Bay oyster farm

San Jose Mercury News - Apr 10

Supporters of Drakes Bay Oyster Co. have filed suit in Marin County Superior Court against the California Coastal Commission, challenging cease-and-desist and restoration orders issued by the Commission in February. In its orders, the Commission found the company responsible for various violations of the California Coastal Act, including discharging of marine debris, operation of offshore aquaculture facilities, processing and sale of its product, construction, installation and alteration of structures; and alterations of land in the coastal zone. Now the Alliance for Local Sustainable Agriculture and Phyllis Faber, a longtime Marin County environmental activist and former member of the California Coastal Commission, are seeking to overturn the decision.

CA Groups Challenge Mexico's "Mega Resorts"

Scoop San Diego - Apr 15

Mexico's approval of four mega resorts in the Gulf of California has several groups calling for an investigation. The groups contend that the massive tourism developments threaten fragile ecosystems and endangered species, and accuse the Mexican government of failing to enforce its own environmental laws.

 

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