California Environmental Quality Act

News & Analysis as of

Citizens for a Green San Mateo v. San Mateo County Community College District

Why it matters: The 30 day statute of limitations for CEQA challenges was upheld to bar litigation alleging that a project, as constructed, was different from how that project was described in the CEQA document....more

CEQA Exemption Update: Westland Water District Two-Year Contract Renewals Ruled Exempt from CEQA Requirements

In North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Westlands Water District, No. FO67383 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. July 3, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld the Westland Water District and its related distribution districts’ (Water...more

Eight Is Not Enough: CEQA Challenge To Eighth Addendum To San Jose International Airport Master Plan EIR Is Rejected By Sixth...

In a decision filed June 6, but not certified for publication until July 2, 2014, the Sixth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding the City of San Jose’s eighth addendum to its Airport Master...more

CEQA to Give Cities More Control Over Transit Projects

Eric Jaffe’s recent article for The Atlantic’s CityLab website: “Transit Projects Are About to Get Much, Much Easier in California” explains that “California will soon reform traffic analysis under CEQA by replacing ‘level of...more

Whatever the EIR’s Name, CEQA’s Rules For Substantive Content and Subsequent Review Remain The Same: First District Upholds EIR...

On July 7, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal filed its published opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment upholding the EIR for the Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island Project. Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure...more

Fifth District Upholds CEQA Exemptions For Ongoing Pre-CEQA Projects And Continued Operation of Existing Facilities To Reject...

In a July 3, 2014 published decision more notable for the practical importance of the water rights involved than the CEQA law applied, the Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected the CEQA challenges of various environmental...more

Supreme Court’s CEQA Docket Expands With Grant of Review in Newhall Ranch Case

On July 9, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted the petition for review filed by Plaintiff/Respondent Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. Department of Fish and Game...more

Ground Control to Major Tom: Appeals Court Shuts Down CEQA Challenge to San Jose Airport Master Plan

In Citizens Against Airport Pollution v. City of San Jose, No. H038781 (Cal. Ct. App. 6th Dist., June 6, 2014), Citizens Against Airport Pollution (“CAAP”) appealed the trial court’s ruling that the City of San Jose’s...more

San Mateo Tree Removal Suit Felled by CEQA Statute of Limitations

In Citizens for a Green San Mateo v. San Mateo Cnty. Comm. College Dist. et al., No. A137612 (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist., June 17, 2014), the First District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision and found that a...more

Sierra Club v. County of Fresno

Why it matters: The court refined its previous test for air quality impacts analysis under CEQA, and required recirculation of an EIR due to its failure to specifically analyze the impacts on human health resulting from the...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Long-term money a big boost for California's high-speed rail - Contra Costa Times - Jun 17: Gov. Jerry Brown scored a win for California's $68 billion high-speed rail project by...more

First District Holds CEQA Statute Of Limitations Bars Citizens Group’s Challenge To College Of San Mateo Tree Cutting

In a published opinion, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ and held that a CEQA action filed by a citizens group against a community college district and its board of...more

What's a ROG and Can It Hurt Me? EIR Overturned For Failure to Explain Air Quality Impacts to Human Health

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. May 27, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District found fault with the County of Fresno’s (County) review of the Friant Ranch Project (Project) under the California...more

Calif. Projects Must Take Health Impacts Into Account

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno, a decision that will likely impact projects across California, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District issued its second major California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA")...more

Fifth District Decides Significant CEQA Air Quality/Health Impact Analysis and Mitigation Issues In Sierra Club v. County of...

In a lengthy and scholastic published opinion filed May 27, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded the trial court’s decision, which had upheld the EIR and other approvals (including a General Plan...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Kings County lawsuit challenges Fresno-Bakersfield high-speed rail: Fresno Bee - Jun 5: The Kings County Board of Supervisors, the Farm Bureau, and a group of county residents filed...more

EIR Air Quality Analysis Insufficient: Lack of Specificity Regarding Human Health Impacts, Mitigation Measure Enforceability, and...

Faced with an appeal of the Superior Court of Fresno’s approval of a controversial Environmental Impact Report, the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed and found that the challenged EIR violated the California...more

Court Finds No CEQA Necessary For Utility Cabinets on San Francisco Sidewalks

In San Francisco Beautiful v. City and County of San Francisco, No. CPF11511535, (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist. May 30, 2014), the First Appellate District upheld San Francisco’s application of a categorical exemption to exempt...more

CEQA Class 3 Categorical Exemptions Permitted for AT&T Installations

The First District Court of Appeal held that AT&T’s proposed installation of new utility cabinets in the City of San Francisco fell within CEQA’s Class 3 categorical exemption for the “installation of small new equipment and...more

Will the California Supreme Court Close the Door to a CEQA Exemption the Legislature Has Refused to Close?

The California Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, No. S207173 (case submitted May 28, 2014), a case that gives the Justices the opportunity to determine...more

“CEQA-in-Reverse” Case Headed for the California Supreme Court

“CEQA-in-Reverse” - Real estate developers, public agencies and private businesses involved in land development or redevelopment may soon have to contend with a new far-reaching interpretation of the California...more

Real Estate and Land Use - June 2014

Bowman v. California Coastal Commission - Why it matters: The Court in Bowman held that a permit condition could not be modified or deleted by a second permit that included the same project, even if the first permit...more

Financial Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Determined By Reasonably Prudent Person

In SPRAWLDEF et al. v. San Franscisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, et al. (“SPRAWLDEF”)(certified for publication 5/28/2014), the First Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decision and held the San...more

Is A 16% Reduction in GHG Emissions From "Business-As-Usual" Enough Under CEQA?

Our previous post on the Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife, No. B245141 (Mar. 20, 2014), highlighted the court’s holdings on California...more

San Francisco Beautiful CEQA Decision Interpreting Class 3 Categorical Exemption For Installation of Small Structures Is Ordered...

On May 30, 2014, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District (Division 4) filed its order denying rehearing and granting the requests of real party in interest AT&T, Verizon, Remy Moose Manley and others to publish...more

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