Environmental Assessments

News & Analysis as of

Air Force Welcomes Comments On Red Rock Biofuels Facility Environmental Assessment

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) Research Laboratory has developed a Draft Environmental Assessment and a Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the development of the Red Rock Biofuels facility in Lake County, Oregon....more

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway...more

Practical Recommendations for Implementing California Supreme Court's Latest CEQA Decision - Court: CEQA Does Not Generally...

In California Building Industry Association (CBIA) v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the California Supreme Court held that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally does not require...more

CEQA Year In Review 2015

In 2015 the California appellate courts continued to chart new ground as they grappled with some of CEQA’s most difficult and controversial questions. The Supreme Court of California led the way, issuing four opinions on...more

Environmental Baseline and Remediation Requirements under the EU Industrial Emissions Directive; New Cleanup Obligations for...

Companies conducting transactions and financings involving industrial facilities in the European Union (“EU”) should be aware of new guidance and policy making it clear that invasive sampling will be required pursuant to the...more

Changes in Environmental Due Diligence in Commercial Real Estate Prevent Toxic Investments

Financial due diligence in a commercial real estate purchase is a necessity, but equally important to purchasers and lenders is environmental due diligence. Many properties may have environmental issues from prior use, and...more

Culver City and Inglewood Weigh in on SoCal Metroplex Project

On September 8 and October 8, 2015, the Cities of Culver City and Inglewood, California, filed original and supplemental comments, respectively, with the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) concerning the adequacy of its...more

North Carolina offshore wind advances

Federal efforts to lease ocean sites off the North Carolina coast for offshore wind development advanced last week, when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a report finding that there would be no significant...more

Eagles Back in the Nest: FWS 30-Year Eagle “Take” Rule Vacated Less than Two Years after Implementation

On August 11, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California struck down a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) regulation that increased the maximum duration of programmatic permits...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

Federal District Court Strikes Down Eagle Act Rule

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck down the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s so-called “30-Year Rule,” which had extended from 5 years to 30 years the duration of...more

Windfarm Industry Suffers Setback as Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule

On August 11, 2015, a district court in Silicon Valley remanded a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule issued in 2013 that had extended the potential term of incidental take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle...more

Avoiding NEPA – Even for “Worthy Goals” – Is Never Advisable

From the very first day of my legal career, clients have asked me some variation of this question: “Why can’t we just prepare a shorter Environmental Assessment (EA) or even issue a Categorical Exclusion (no analysis at all)...more

Independent Study on California Fracking Released

The California Council on Science & Technology (“CCST”) recently released its Independent Study of well stimulation in California. The report was prepared for the California Natural Resources Agency in response to Senate Bill...more

Changing Protected Status of Land Requires CEQA Compliance

In Paulek v. Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority, the California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, held that removal of the protected status from a parcel of land still needs to comply with the...more

EPA Finds Low Potential Impacts on Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a draft assessment study last week showing that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) activities in the U.S. may have potential impacts on the water lifecycle, affecting drinking...more

Environmental Litigation, Compliance and Transactional Costs to Increase as a Result of EPA’s New Vapor Intrusion Guidance

Action Item: Vapor intrusion has been a primary concern of state and federal environmental agencies for the past decade, and, accordingly, remedial actions have included vapor migration and intrusion as an exposure pathway....more

Addressing Environmental Issues in Real Estate Development [Video]

Dealmakers sometimes overlook environmental issues when negotiating transactions, leaving important business and legal issues unaddressed until they inevitably pop up shortly before closing and send everyone scrambling. This...more

EPA Takes Positions on Vapor Intrusion

In a busy day for vapor intrusion, last week the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency made several announcements about vapor intrusion. First, it announced it had submitted a draft rule to the White House OMB seeking to...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

When It Comes to Property Acquisitions and Private Development, Timing May Be Everything

As the old adage goes, the three most important things to consider with real estate are location, location, and location. But any developer who has lived through a real estate cycle, and any public agency that is under a...more

MARAD Issues Final Policy on Licensing Offshore Oil and LNG Export Facilities

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued its final policy on May 7, 2015, regarding the review and processing of applications for the export of oil and natural gas from offshore deepwater port facilities under the Deepwater...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Approval of Maryland Natural Gas Facility

On April 24, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community v. FERC, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approval of Dominion Transmission’s...more

Environment Agency changes regulatory approach to existing onshore oil and gas facilities

Earlier this month, the Environment Agency (EA) published a new regulatory position statement on the environmental permitting of existing onshore oil and gas facilities (including shale gas facilities)....more

Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Hits the Courts

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which involves the proposed twinning of the existing Edmonton-Burnaby pipeline and the expansion of a marine terminal, was the subject of a number of court decisions last year involving...more

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