News & Analysis as of

Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Environmental Review

First Appellate District Holds that Air Quality Management District’s Issuance of “Authority to Construct” May Be Challenged Under...

by Downey Brand LLP on

On May 25, 2017, the First Appellate District published a modified version of its unpublished March 23, 2017 opinion, holding that the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District’s (“MCAQMD”) issuance of an “Authority to...more

Court Confirms CEQA Analysis of Zoning Amendments Limited to Reasonably Foreseeable Development

The California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District recently held, in Aptos Council v. County of Santa Cruz, 10 Cal. App. 5th 266 (2017) that environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act...more

The California Supreme Court Has a Banner Week, Hearing Argument in Three CEQA and Land Use Cases

by Downey Brand LLP on

On May 3–4, 2017, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases with significant implications for California land use law. Below we summarize the main issue(s) argued in each matter and possible outcomes....more

EIB Energy Highlights: Dakota Access & Keystone XL Pipelines Revived, FERC on Energy Storage & Pipeline Rates & More

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC on

Our goal is to serve as a leading-edge resource for companies navigating the rapidly evolving landscapes of the domestic and global energy markets. Moore & Van Allen’s EIB Energy Highlights is a complement to our Energy...more

What’s Old Is New Again: Expedited Review of Energy Infrastructure Projects Under Trump’s Executive Order

by Snell & Wilmer on

While the two Presidential Memoranda expediting review and approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines grabbed much recent attention, an Executive Order issued the same day could have a broader impact by...more

California Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Supplemental Review; Rejects “New Project” Test

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

Recent decision resolves appellate split regarding standard of review for agency decision to prepare supplemental environmental review. On September 19, the California Supreme Court held that the substantial evidence...more

California Supreme Court Rejects "New Project" Test for Modifications to Previously Approved Projects

by Allen Matkins on

On September 19, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District (Case No. S214061). The Supreme Court held that...more

“New and Improved” is Not Always a Good Slogan Under CEQA

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Marketing departments in major corporations love to describe products as “new and improved” in order to convince you that the product is something you need. In many cases though, you already have the product; the new and...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

Timing Is (Almost) Everything: FERC Implements D.C. Circuit Guidance on NEPA Review of Multiple Pipeline Construction Projects

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In the wake of two recent D.C. Circuit decisions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has begun to implement its new policy concerning the review of natural gas pipeline construction proposals under the National...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

FERC Shares Best Practices for Stakeholder Outreach in Gas Project Permitting

by King & Spalding on

The dramatic increase in domestic energy production over the past several years has resulted in the involvement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a wide range of interactions with the public and other...more

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

by Miller Starr Regalia on

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

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

by Stoel Rives LLP on

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

Environmental Review Required for Subdivision Map Approvals

by Nossaman LLP on

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

Environmental Impact Analysis Required for Natural Gas Facilities Clarified in Court Decision Denying Residents’ Challenge to...

by McDermott Will & Emery on

A New York town’s challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) siting authorization for a natural gas pipeline compressor station was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Minisink...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

by Nossaman LLP on

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

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

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

by Stoel Rives LLP on

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...

by Allen Matkins on

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

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

by Stoel Rives LLP on

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

D.C. Circuit Court Requires FERC To Consolidate its NEPA Review of Nominally Separate Interstate Gas Pipeline Projects

by King & Spalding on

On June 6, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion holding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted improperly in separately analyzing the environmental impacts of several nominally separate...more

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

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

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

Application for State Funds Not A "Project" Under CEQA

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In City of Irvine v. County of Orange (“City of Irvine”) (published and modified on November 22, 2013), the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the County of Orange’s (“County”) application...more

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