California Environmental Quality Act Environmental Review

News & Analysis as of

If A Tree Falls In The (Urban) Forest … Does CEQA Apply? Sixth District Holds City Of Santa Cruz’s Amendment Of Tree Protection...

When California local governments stretch their resources too far to regulate private conduct and property rights in the name of environmental protection, CEQA can make it quite onerous to undo what has been done. And one can...more

Are Regulatory Delays Exacerbating Drought Conditions?

As we enter the fall season, substantial portions of California and the Pacific Northwest are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. While conditions are better in Texas and other nearby states this year,...more

CEQA Guidelines Comments: Once In a Generation Chance

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) directs that certain proposed projects undergo environmental review to assess and mitigate significant environmental impacts. The CEQA Guidelines provide procedures and...more

Modernizing the Review Process or Just More Busy Work?

Those who have worked on the permitting and environmental review for a federally funded infrastructure project know the challenges that exist in coordinating with numerous agencies that may have oversight over a project. A...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

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

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

Fourth District Expounds On CEQA’s Responses To Comments Rules – And Abuses of the Process – As Well As Other Issues In Upholding...

In an opinion filed June 12 and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding a supplemental EIR (“SEIR 564”) for a long-planned expansion of the James A....more

Emergency Work Can Modify a Project’s Environmental Baseline

CREED-21 v. City of San Diego (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 488 - Why It Matters: This decision provides an important clarification of what constitutes the “environmental baseline” under the California Environmental Quality Act...more

Sacramento Kings – 2, Opponents – 0: Court Rules that the Downtown Arena Satisfies Environmental Review Requirements

In Saltonstall, et al. v. City of Sacramento, No. C077772 (Cal. Ct. App. 3rd Dist., Feb. 18, 2015), the Third Appellate District affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court in holding that the City of Sacramento did not...more

Double Whammy for State Fuel Suppliers

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is poised to readopt the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation in early 2015. With its readoption, CARB hopes to put to rest challenges that required a redo of the environmental...more

CEQA Bill to Protect Native American Cultural Resources Creates New Challenges and Opportunities for Project Applicants

On September 25, 2014, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 52 ("AB 52"), which modifies the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") to add new protections for Native American cultural resources and enhances the role of...more

Bakken Crude-by-Rail Update: Transloading Projects Dealt a Setback in California

Recently, we covered environmental groups’ increasing array of state-law challenges to midstream and end users of Bakken crude that transport or receive oil by rail. Since then, a California regulator has admitted to...more

CEQA Alert: CEQA Does Not Apply to Approval of Proposed Railroad Operations – Express Preemption by ICCTA

California’s First Appellate District has held that federal law preempts CEQA’s application to the approval of proposed railroad operations. Although this was an issue of first impression for a California appellate court,...more

Environmental Review Required for Subdivision Map Approvals

On September 9, the Third District Court of Appeal held that tentative subdivision map approvals "always have at least the potential to cause" a direct or indirect physical change in the environment and thus are categorically...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus: The California Supreme Court further limits the scope of CEQA review for voter-sponsored initiatives: Allen Matkins - Aug 11: Voter-driven initiatives meeting California Elections Code...more

Supreme Court Opens Escape Path From CEQA Via Citizens Initiative – Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court

Why it matters: Project proponents may avoid CEQA altogether by gathering sufficient voter signatures and then having the local City Council approve the proposed project, without submitting the measure to a vote of the...more

California Supreme Court Holds No CEQA Review Required for a Voter Initiative-Sponsored Ordinance

In a relatively short decision, the California Supreme Court held in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court of Tuolumne County (Tuolumne Jobs) that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not...more

Decision: Voter-Sponsored Local Land Use Initiatives Not Subject to Environmental Review

The proposed expansion of a Wal-Mart store into a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the City of Tuolumne, Calif. yielded a California Supreme Court decision that says city councils need not comply with CEQA before adopting a...more

Supreme Court Confirms CEQA Exemption for Voter-Sponsored Initiatives

In Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, No. S207173 (Supreme Court, Aug. 7, 2014), the California Supreme Court ruled that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not apply when a lead...more

The California Supreme Court Further Limits the Scope of CEQA Review for Voter-Sponsored Initiatives in Tuolumne Jobs & Small...

Voter-driven initiatives meeting California Elections Code requirements may be adopted directly by local governments without first conducting a full review under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), according to...more

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Holds No CEQA Review is Required for Adoption of Voter-Sponsored Initiatives

On August 7, the California Supreme Court filled the last gap in the interpretation of CEQA in the context of land use initiatives. Previously, the courts had determined that (1) CEQA compliance is required for land use...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

Spring 2014 CEQA Roundup

It’s that time of year again – business mixers, the Giants in first place in the NL west, the school year winding down, the NBA and NHL playoffs in full swing, coastal whale migrations, California bursting with beautiful...more

Court Upholds Approvals for the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project

Trial Court Validates Agreements and Plans for Large Public-Private Water Project and Approves CEQA Review - The Orange County Superior Court last week issued rulings rejecting all six challenges to the environmental...more

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