Environmental Impact Report

News & Analysis as of

OPR Releases Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments for Public Comments

On August 11, 2015, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a Preliminary Discussion Draft of Changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Preliminary Discussion Draft). The OPR...more

No Short Cuts Allowed: The FWS Must Comply with NEPA Before Extending Programmatic Take Permits to 30 Years

Earlier this month, the Judge Lucy Koh set aside the Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision to extend its programmatic permit for bald and golden eagle takes from five to 30 years. The extension was sought by the wind industry...more

State Agencies Cannot Use State Budgetary Uncertainties to Escape Mitigation Obligations under CEQA

The California Supreme court determined the California State University ("CSU") could not rely solely on earmarked appropriations from the State Legislature for payment of "fair share" mitigation fees the CSU determined...more

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under...more

CEQA Litigation Abuses Documented By New Empirical Study Of Recent Case Filings

A 138-page report, including 371 footnotes and a 30-page appendix listing all properly documented CEQA lawsuits filed in California over its 3-year study period (2010-2012), has been posted by its authors, Holland & Knight...more

California Governor's Office Releases Comprehensive Update to State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines

On August 11, 2015, the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released its Preliminary Discussion Draft of a comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines – the first global update to the CEQA Guidelines...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

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

Court Strikes Down FWS Rule for 30-Year Eagle Incidental Take Permits

In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) issued a rule increasing the maximum duration from five to 30 years of programmatic permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act to “take” bald or golden eagles...more

Supplement — Curtin’s California Land Use

This Supplement is intended for use in conjunction with Curtin’s California Land Use & Planning Law, Thirty-Fourth Edition (2014), authored by Perkins Coie attorneys Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew S. Gray. In lieu of...more

Uncertainty of Legislative Earmarks Not Enough to Deem Mitigation Infeasible

California Supreme Court Takes on CEQA Issue in State College Expansion Project - State agencies cannot declare mitigation infeasible for construction projects on the grounds that the California Legislature has not — and...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: Coastkeeper's suit against water agency dismissed - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jul 31: A San Diego superior court judge ruled against an environmental group on July 30, rejecting its...more

Cal State University Cannot Avoid Off-Site Traffic Mitigation Payments Because the Legislature Failed to Approve Funds

City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of the California State University - Why It Matters: The California Supreme Court has clarified language from its prior decision in City of Marina v. Board of Trustees of California...more

California Supreme Court Holds that State Agencies May Not Escape CEQA Mitigation Requirements Based on Failure of the Legislature...

In a decision that enhances the ability of local interests to obtain mitigation funds from state agencies, the California Supreme Court held that the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") requires the Board of...more

Land Use & Natural Resources Case Law Update Second Quarter 2015

Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach - 236 Cal.App.4th 1341 - This case involved the City of Newport Beach’s approval of a mixed-use development project on land located within the coastal zone. Banning...more

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Clarifies Duties of State Agencies in Funding Off-Site Mitigation

On August 3, the California Supreme Court released its second CEQA decision of 2015, addressing a key issue for state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental mitigation. In City of San Diego v. Board...more

State Agencies Cannot Declare Mitigation of Project Impacts Infeasible Based Solely on the Lack of Legislative Appropriations

A public agency may not rely solely on a request to the Legislature to appropriate funding to mitigate a project's adverse environmental impacts and conclude that mitigation is infeasible because the funding cannot be...more

A State Agency’s Duty To Mitigate Significant Environmental Impacts Does Not Depend On A Legislative Appropriation Of Funds For...

The California State University system may not condition its funding of mitigation for off-site impacts of a campus expansion project on receipt of a legislative appropriation earmarked for that purpose, according to a...more

The “Old College Try” Flunks Out: California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Mitigation Obligation For CSU Campus Expansion Projects...

In an August 3, 2015 decision that impacts the California State University’s (CSU) plans to expand its campuses across the state, the California Supreme Court has rejected CSU’s arguments that mitigation of its projects’...more

Activists ask Court to Scrap EIR and Stop Fracking

Today, July 30, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court against the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”). CBD claims, among other things, that DOGGR...more

DOE Releases Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Pass Project

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Northern Pass Transmission, LLC’s proposed 187-mile transmission line across the United States-Canada border in New...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 43

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 43 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in California, New York, and Ohio. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide...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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - California Approves Drought Curb on Sacramento River Flows - Sacramento Bee - Jul 8: California regulators gave final approval on Tuesday to a controversial drought plan to restrict the...more

California Superior Court Denies PANNA Petition for Writ of Mandate

On June 16, 2015, the California Superior Court for the County of Almeda denied the petition of the Pesticide Action Network North America, et al. (PANNA) for a writ of mandate to direct the California Department of Pesticide...more

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