Environmental Impact Report

News & Analysis as of

State Lands Commission’s CEQA Review of SF Bay/Delta Sand Mining Project Approval Is Adequate, But Fails to Fulfill Obligation to...

The First District Court of Appeal held the California State Lands Commission’s (“CSLC”) EIR for a project involving the lease of sovereign lands beneath San Francisco Bay for private dredge mining of sand complied with CEQA;...more

Crude-By-Rail Update: Siting a Crude Oil Transloading Terminal in California? Developers Should Seek Old Industrial Sites and...

Proposed crude-by-rail (CBR) projects in California increasingly face opposition lawsuits designed to stall and derail the terminals. The suits often focus on alleged noncompliance with the California Environmental Quality...more

Berkeley Hillside CEQA Cat Ex Case Redux: Kapors Get Their Mansion, First District’s Belatedly Published Opinion Upholds City’s...

On remand following a landmark California Supreme Court decision, the First District Court of Appeal filed its opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment on September 23 and later ordered it published on October 15, 2015....more

Real Estate and Land Use - November 2015

CEQA Baseline Can Consider Historic Levels of Use - North County Advocates v. City of Carlsbad (2015)—Cal.App.4th—Case No. D066488: Why It Matters: This case addresses an important issue under CEQA relating to the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus - Senate votes to block EPA’s clean water rule: The Hill - Nov 4:: The U.S. Senate approved a bill Wednesday to block the Obama administration’s new regulation defining federal authority...more

Second District Rejects CEQA And Fair Transit Hearing Challenges To LA Metro’s Westside Subway Extension Project In Lengthy...

In a 65-page opinion certified for publication and filed October 22, 2015, the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s judgment denying writ petitions by the City of Beverly...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, October 2015

At its October 27, 2015, meeting, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create a new dedicated Affordable Housing Program budget unit and approved setting aside $100 million for the creation and operation of both...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

Land Use & Natural Resources Case Law Update: Third Quarter 2015

The court of appeal upheld the City of Carson’s denial of an application to convert a mobilehome rental park to a subdivision of resident-owned lots. The city’s denial of the application was based on its inconsistency with...more

Renewable Energy Update - October 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Attractive PPA prices will keep U.S. utility-scale solar power strong: Solar Industry Magazine - Oct 13: Reports of the death of utility-scale solar in the U.S. have been greatly exaggerated. A...more

Federal Energy Legislative Update

There has been recent action in Congress on issues important to the oil and gas industry. This post provides an overview of the major energy-related bills in Congress. H.R. 538, the Native American Energy Act – On...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Case Challenging 2010 Bay Area Air Quality Management District Air Quality...

On October 7, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Supreme Court Case No. S213478), a case which calls into question...more

Fourth District Addresses CEQA Baseline Issues In Partially Published Opinion Upholding EIR For Carlsbad Shopping Mall Renovation

In an opinion filed September 10, and later ordered partially published on October 9, 2015, the Court of Appeal affirmed the substance of a judgment upholding an EIR for a regional shopping center renovation project in...more

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part II – Proposed “Substance” and Major...

On September 18, 2015, I posted a “Part I” piece on the “efficiency improvements” category of OPR’s Preliminary Discussion Draft of its “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). This follow up post...more

FERC Shares Best Practices for Stakeholder Outreach in Gas Project Permitting

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

Energy & Environment Update - September 2015 #4

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - After a busy week with Yom Kippur and visits from Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Congress is focusing this week on finalizing a continuing resolution and preparing for new...more

$1-Billion Committed to Development of Quebec’s Mining, Hydrocarbon Industries

The Quebec government has recently announced that the Capital Mines Hydrocarbon fund (CMH Fund), the purpose of which is to acquire equity interests in mining and hydrocarbon projects in Quebec, is officially in effect. The...more

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique Of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part I – Proposed “Efficiency...

On August 11, 2015, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a 145-page “Preliminary Discussion Draft” of “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). The Discussion Draft “contains...more

High Rollers Are Fine but Resort Casino Needs Orange Line Riders to Thrive

On the sidewalks of Everett, I have heard it said that Steve Wynn is quietly planning to lure planeloads of nouveau riche from the People’s Republic of China to his new “Wynn Everett” casino on the banks of the Mystic...more

Condemnation Projects Everywhere!

Public agencies in California are once again getting busy with new projects. It seems at every event I attend all the right-of-way professionals, appraisers and eminent domain attorneys tell me they’re fully occupied. ...more

California High Court Humbles Itself Over CEQA Case

The Supreme Court of California recently released its second California Environmental Quality Act decision of 2015, addressing a key issue for state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental...more

California Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument in Key CEQA Case

The California Supreme Court has announced that the oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District will take place on October 7, 2015, in San Francisco. The CBIA case...more

California Supreme Court Ponders Greenhouse Gas, Fully Protected Species Issues

The California Supreme Court heard argument on September 2, 2015 in a greenhouse gas (GHG) and fully protected species case with important state-wide implications. (Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and...more

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015

Substance Over Form—A Refreshing Application of CEQA Analysis: City of Irvine v. County of Orange (2015) 283 Cal.App.4th 526 - Why It Matters: The Court of Appeal in City of Irvine v. County of Orange elaborated...more

California Supreme Court Ponders Fully Protected Species Issues

On September 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case involving fully protected species that may have important state-wide implications. (Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and...more

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