News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

NEPA Watch – House Proposes Legislation To Streamline NEPA Reviews

On July 10, 2013, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced a bill in the House that would amend the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to streamline the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act...more

Mississippi v. EPA: Support of the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee is Not Necessary to Affirm EPA’s NAAQS

On Tuesday, in Mississippi v. EPA, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed EPA’s 2008 NAAQS for ozone of 0.075 ppm. However, it remanded EPA’s decision to set the secondary NAAQS, for public welfare, at the same...more

Public Agency May Begin Eminent Domain Proceedings Before Completing CEQA Review, But May Not Actually Acquire The Property Until...

A racetrack landowner challenged a regional park district’s plan to condemn part of the property for construction of a bayside trail, asserting that the park district was required under eminent domain law and the California...more

Condemn Now, CEQA-Compliance Later? OK. Maybe....

Acquiring property for public projects typically does not occur until after the project has received environmental approval. While this is the generally accepted rule – and it makes sense for a number of reasons – must a...more

Residential Project Exempt From CEQA Review Under Government Code Section 65457 As Consistent With Specific Plan For Which Program...

In a recently published opinion construing Government Code § 65457’s exemption from environmental review for a residential development consistent with a specific plan for which an EIR was previously certified, the First...more

Recent Cases Show How CEQA’s Applicability And Substantive EIR Requirements Are Determined By Meaningful Agency Discretion

It is a fundamental precept of CEQA that it applies only to the discretionary approval of a project. If an agency has no discretion to deny or shape the project to address environmental concerns, CEQA review would be a...more

Analysis Of Recent Challenges To Environmental Impact Reports

This report analyzes 95 published opinions from 1997 to 2012 in which CEQA plaintiffs litigated the validity of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to the California Court of Appeal or Supreme Court. Among its...more

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