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

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

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

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

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...

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

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Holds No CEQA Review is Required for Adoption of Voter-Sponsored Initiatives

On August 7, the California Supreme Court filled the last gap in the interpretation of CEQA in the context of land use initiatives. Previously, the courts had determined that (1) CEQA compliance is required for land use...more

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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