Environmental Review

News & Analysis as of

If A Tree Falls In The (Urban) Forest … Does CEQA Apply? Sixth District Holds City Of Santa Cruz’s Amendment Of Tree Protection...

When California local governments stretch their resources too far to regulate private conduct and property rights in the name of environmental protection, CEQA can make it quite onerous to undo what has been done. And one can...more

Denmark Posts Several Publications Concerning Nanomaterials

On November 10, 2015, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency posted the following publications concerning nanomaterials: - Environmental assessment of nanomaterial use in Denmark: This is the concluding report of the...more

To Mitigate or Not to Mitigate: No Longer a Question for Environmental Reviews?

Even the casual college football observer has probably seen by now the wild final play of the Duke-Miami game on October 31. After the game ended, it was determined that Miami literally stole the win as a result of referee...more

Electronic Reporting to be the NPDES Rule

After a lengthy public notice and comment period, the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Electronic Reporting Rule was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015, and will become...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

Renewable Energy Update - October 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown authorizes streamlined groundwater: Allen Matkins - Oct 13: On Friday, October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed a suite of bills that has the potential to significantly...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Nationwide stay of EPA/Army Corps "Waters of the U.S." rule issued by Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals: Allen Matkins - Oct 9: The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a nationwide...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

CEQA Guidelines Comments: Once In a Generation Chance

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) directs that certain proposed projects undergo environmental review to assess and mitigate significant environmental impacts. The CEQA Guidelines provide procedures and...more

Modernizing the Review Process or Just More Busy Work?

Those who have worked on the permitting and environmental review for a federally funded infrastructure project know the challenges that exist in coordinating with numerous agencies that may have oversight over a project. A...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal judge in South Dakota issues eleventh-hour order blocking implementation of EPA/COE’s new definition of 'waters of the United States': The Hill - Aug 27: A federal judge in North...more

CEQA Takes Closer Look at Native American Cultural Resources

Projects statewide will now be subject to further examination to ensure potentially significant impacts to California’s Native American historic, cultural and sacred sites are mitigated. Assembly Bill 52 adds new requirements...more

New Proposals from California Governor: Will CEQA Be Fixed? Or Will it Get More Complex and Unwieldy?

The California Governor’s Office is seeking input on their proposals to update the CEQA Guidelines by October 12, 2015. They have released a discussion draft – which is a pre-regulatory process to get input on some of the...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

Emergency Work Can Modify a Project’s Environmental Baseline

CREED-21 v. City of San Diego (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 488 - Why It Matters: This decision provides an important clarification of what constitutes the “environmental baseline” under the California Environmental Quality Act...more

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

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

Greenhouse Gases and Environmental Review: CEQ’s expansive view on how NEPA treats GHGs

On December 18, 2014, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed revised guidance (“Guidance”) directing how federal agencies should consider greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change when...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Ninth Circuit Delta Smelt Decision

On Monday, January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied two petitions seeking review of a Ninth Circuit decision upholding limits on water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect the endangered Delta...more

Double Whammy for State Fuel Suppliers

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is poised to readopt the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation in early 2015. With its readoption, CARB hopes to put to rest challenges that required a redo of the environmental...more

Panama Canal Expansion Update: October 2014 Milestones

The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and joins North and South America. It is one of the narrowest waterways in the world, yet thirteen to fourteen thousand ships brave the Panama Canal each year because...more

CEQA Bill to Protect Native American Cultural Resources Creates New Challenges and Opportunities for Project Applicants

On September 25, 2014, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 52 ("AB 52"), which modifies the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") to add new protections for Native American cultural resources and enhances the role of...more

Bakken Crude-by-Rail Update: Transloading Projects Dealt a Setback in California

Recently, we covered environmental groups’ increasing array of state-law challenges to midstream and end users of Bakken crude that transport or receive oil by rail. Since then, a California regulator has admitted to...more

If They Could Be All You Wanted: The FCC Gets Serious About Small Cells

Say what you will about inside-the-Beltway leadership vacuums, political gridlock and the indecipherable output from the grey, grinding gears of our government agencies, but once in a while Washington actually gets it right. ...more

CEQA Alert: CEQA Does Not Apply to Approval of Proposed Railroad Operations – Express Preemption by ICCTA

California’s First Appellate District has held that federal law preempts CEQA’s application to the approval of proposed railroad operations. Although this was an issue of first impression for a California appellate court,...more

Ohio EPA Voluntary Action Program Update

Many of our Ohio based automotive suppliers with retained environmental liability are performing soil and groundwater cleanups using the Ohio Voluntary Action Program (VAP). My colleagues and I thought it would be timely to...more

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