California Environmental Quality Act

News & Analysis as of

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

Land Use Matters, August 2015

City of Los Angeles - City Council - Mobility Plan 2035 Approved - On August 11, 2015, the city council passed “Mobility Plan 2035,” a comprehensive revision of the 1999 Transportation Element of the General Plan....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal judge in South Dakota issues eleventh-hour order blocking implementation of EPA/COE’s new definition of 'waters of the United States': The Hill - Aug 27: A federal judge in North...more

OPR Releases Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments for Public Comments

On August 11, 2015, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a Preliminary Discussion Draft of Changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Preliminary Discussion Draft). The OPR...more

First District Holds Public Agency’s Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents In Response To PRA Request Does Not Waive...

On July 31, 2015, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division One, filed a 23-page published opinion holding that the inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client privileged and work product protected...more

New Regulations Could Expand CEQA Review of Impacts to Common Birds - California Department of Fish & Wildlife Proposes Draft...

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) published draft regulations interpreting California laws that protect birds of prey, and the nests and eggs of birds generally. These draft regulations, released on Aug. 14,...more

CEQA Alert: Extensive Proposed Revisions to CEQA Guidelines Released for Public Comment

On August 11, 2015, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a preliminary discussion draft of comprehensive revisions to the CEQA Guidelines (“Discussion Draft”). Revisions to the CEQA...more

State Agencies Cannot Use State Budgetary Uncertainties to Escape Mitigation Obligations under CEQA

The California Supreme court determined the California State University ("CSU") could not rely solely on earmarked appropriations from the State Legislature for payment of "fair share" mitigation fees the CSU determined...more

Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments Released

Comments Due to Office of Planning and Research by Oct. 12 - The California Office of Planning and Research has issued a preliminary discussion draft of revisions to nearly 30 different sections of the CEQA Guidelines....more

CEQA Litigation Abuses Documented By New Empirical Study Of Recent Case Filings

A 138-page report, including 371 footnotes and a 30-page appendix listing all properly documented CEQA lawsuits filed in California over its 3-year study period (2010-2012), has been posted by its authors, Holland & Knight...more

California Governor's Office Releases Comprehensive Update to State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines

On August 11, 2015, the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released its Preliminary Discussion Draft of a comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines – the first global update to the CEQA Guidelines...more

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Proposes Rules Regulating Nesting Birds and Birds of Prey

On August 14, 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to nesting birds and birds of prey.  Specifically, the Department is proposing to adopt...more

CEQA Takes Closer Look at Native American Cultural Resources

Projects statewide will now be subject to further examination to ensure potentially significant impacts to California’s Native American historic, cultural and sacred sites are mitigated. Assembly Bill 52 adds new requirements...more

Supplement — Curtin’s California Land Use

This Supplement is intended for use in conjunction with Curtin’s California Land Use & Planning Law, Thirty-Fourth Edition (2014), authored by Perkins Coie attorneys Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew S. Gray. In lieu of...more

Uncertainty of Legislative Earmarks Not Enough to Deem Mitigation Infeasible

California Supreme Court Takes on CEQA Issue in State College Expansion Project - State agencies cannot declare mitigation infeasible for construction projects on the grounds that the California Legislature has not — and...more

New Proposals from California Governor: Will CEQA Be Fixed? Or Will it Get More Complex and Unwieldy?

The California Governor’s Office is seeking input on their proposals to update the CEQA Guidelines by October 12, 2015. They have released a discussion draft – which is a pre-regulatory process to get input on some of the...more

UPDATE: CEQA’s Mitigation Requirement: California Supreme Court Agrees With EnviroStructure!

Last February, I wrote about the California State University Board of Trustees’ (CSU) unique stance concerning their responsibilities under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CSU agrees that like every other...more

Cal State University Cannot Avoid Off-Site Traffic Mitigation Payments Because the Legislature Failed to Approve Funds

City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of the California State University - Why It Matters: The California Supreme Court has clarified language from its prior decision in City of Marina v. Board of Trustees of California...more

California Supreme Court Holds that State Agencies May Not Escape CEQA Mitigation Requirements Based on Failure of the Legislature...

In a decision that enhances the ability of local interests to obtain mitigation funds from state agencies, the California Supreme Court held that the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") requires the Board of...more

Land Use & Natural Resources Case Law Update Second Quarter 2015

Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach - 236 Cal.App.4th 1341 - This case involved the City of Newport Beach’s approval of a mixed-use development project on land located within the coastal zone. Banning...more

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Clarifies Duties of State Agencies in Funding Off-Site Mitigation

On August 3, the California Supreme Court released its second CEQA decision of 2015, addressing a key issue for state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental mitigation. In City of San Diego v. Board...more

State Agencies Cannot Declare Mitigation of Project Impacts Infeasible Based Solely on the Lack of Legislative Appropriations

A public agency may not rely solely on a request to the Legislature to appropriate funding to mitigate a project's adverse environmental impacts and conclude that mitigation is infeasible because the funding cannot be...more

A State Agency’s Duty To Mitigate Significant Environmental Impacts Does Not Depend On A Legislative Appropriation Of Funds For...

The California State University system may not condition its funding of mitigation for off-site impacts of a campus expansion project on receipt of a legislative appropriation earmarked for that purpose, according to a...more

The “Old College Try” Flunks Out: California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Mitigation Obligation For CSU Campus Expansion Projects...

In an August 3, 2015 decision that impacts the California State University’s (CSU) plans to expand its campuses across the state, the California Supreme Court has rejected CSU’s arguments that mitigation of its projects’...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - Extended deadline expected in Obama’s upcoming climate plan: New York Times - Jul 28: The final version of President Obama’s signature climate change policy, which may be unveiled as...more

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