California Environmental Quality Act

News & Analysis as of

Another One Bites the Dust: Supreme Court Denies Review and Depublishes Sixth District’s SMARA/CEQA Opinion Upholding Permanente...

On December 14, 2016, the California Supreme Court denied review and ordered depublished the Sixth District Court of Appeal’s opinion in Bay Area Clean Environment, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, which was previously filed on...more

New Water Supply Planning Laws Affecting CEQA Projects Now in Effect

New California legislation affecting the required water supply analyses that must be made for certain projects subject to CEQA (SB 1262) was signed into law by Governor Brown last fall, and is now effective as of January 1,...more

California Supreme Court Denies Review in Expedited CEQA Litigation over Golden State Warriors Arena Project Approval

On January 17, 2017, the California Supreme Court denied the losing appellants’ petition for writ of supersedeas, stay request, and petition for review of the First District Court of Appeal’s decision in Mission Bay Alliance...more

CalEnviroScreen 3.0 – Still the Wrong Tool for CEQA Review

On January 9, 2017, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released an “Update to the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool,”...more

Supreme Court Grants Review in Medical Marijuana Case Presenting CEQA “Project” Definition Issues

On January 11, 2017, the California Supreme Court by unanimous order granted review in yet another CEQA case, Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego (2016) 4 Cal.App.4th 103, Supreme Court Case No....more

Utility-Scale Battery Storage Systems: Legal Issues and Opportunities

Federal and state government mandates and incentives, combined with technological advances, have dramatically increased renewable energy sources during the past decade. Variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind...more

(US) California Real Estate Rules to Watch in 2017

In a Law360.com article published on January 2nd titled “California Real Estate Legislation and Regs to Watch in 2017,” Andrew McIntyre of Law360 addresses the challenges facing the California real estate market in the new...more

Completing the Loop Without Reinventing the Wheel: First District Holds 1998 EIR Adequate Without Further CEQA Review to Analyze...

In an opinion filed November 29, and belatedly ordered published on December 22, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s denial of a writ petition challenging on CEQA grounds the San Francisco...more

Land Use Matters, Alston & Bird LLP, November/December 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

Reliance on 1998 EIR Under CEQA Upheld Based on Substantial Evidence

In The Committee for Re-Evaluation of the T-Line Loop v. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, et al., California's First District Court of Appeal is the first appellate court to apply the California Supreme Court's...more

CEQA Does Not Require Local Lead Agency To Provide For Administrative Appeal To Elected Body of Nonelected Body’s Decision That...

In an opinion filed December 7, and later ordered published on December 16, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment denying a writ petition on the “single legal issue” whether plaintiffs were entitled...more

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase

Filing fees are being increased by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for all California Environmental Quality Act Notices of Determination filed on or after Jan. 1. As was the case in 2016, no DFW fee will...more

California Court Upholds Environmental Impact Report for Golden State Warriors Arena - Ruling Finds That CEQA Doesn't Always...

The California First District Court of Appeals issued its decision on Nov. 29, 2016, in Mission Bay Alliance v. Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure et al. The Court of Appeals decision affirmed the July 18,...more

Slam Dunked! First District Rejects All CEQA And Land Use Challenges To Golden State Warriors Event Center Project And EIR In...

In a lengthy published opinion filed November 29, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal rejected all legal challenges to the City of San Francisco’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR) and related land...more

Wither Subsequent Review? Supreme Court Again Weighs In On CEQA Subsequent Review Standards Following Negative Declarations –...

On November 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued a significant Order granting review in Coastal Hills Rural Preservation v. County of Sonoma (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 1234, and also transferring the matter back to the...more

Land Use Matters, Alston & Bird LLP, October 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

Appellate Court Rejected EIR That Found Insignificant Traffic Impacts, Despite Consistency With Infill-Promoting General Plan...

The Court of Appeal of the State of California, Third Appellate District, overturned an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The appellate court rejected the EIR's...more

Evaluating a Project’s “Exacerbation” on Existing Environmental Hazards

Substantial Evidence Proving “Exacerbation” Required, California Appellate Court Says - A significant decision interpreting the scope of the California Supreme Court’s ruling in California Building Industry Association...more

Sacramento Residential Infill Project EIR Violated CEQA By Basing Less-Than-Significant Traffic Impact Finding Solely On...

On November 7, 2016, the Third District Court of Appeal filed a published opinion mostly upholding the EIR for a 48.75-acre, 328-unit residential infill project (known as McKinley Village) against various CEQA challenges, and...more

Governor (Still) Not A Public Agency Subject To CEQA, Holds Third District In Indian Gaming Case

The Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”; 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.) allows gaming on Indian lands acquired by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) in trust for a tribe’s benefit after October 17, 1988, if, among...more

Blowing Smoke About Impacts? Fourth District Rejects Speculative CEQA Challenge to San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Consumer...

In a 29-page published opinion filed October 14, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal dispensed some good news to municipalities desiring to reasonably regulate retail medical marijuana facilities within their...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal air board proposes stricter regulations for smog-reduction plan - Los Angeles Times - Oct 7 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) released a...more

CEQA News You Can Use - Vol. 1, Issue 1

Welcome to the first edition of CEQA News You Can Use, a quarterly publication of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Natural Resources lawyers. This resource will provide quick, useful bites of CEQA news that we hope can be a...more

Fifth District Denies Rehearing, Corrects Published Opinion And Judgment In Consolidated City of Ceres Appeals To Reflect...

It’s always nice not to lose a hard-won prevailing party cost award due to a court’s imprecise use of party designations – which can get confusing where there are multiple appeals at issue. On October 4, 2016, the Fifth...more

California Supreme Court Rules That Agencies—Not Courts—Determine Whether Modified Projects Are Subject to CEQA's Subsequent...

On September 19, the California Supreme Court held unanimously in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College, that agencies—and not courts—must decide whether the "subsequent review"...more

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