Environmental Review

News & Analysis as of

D.C. Circuit Ruling Has Potential Implications for Natural Gas Pipeline and LNG Projects Under FERC Environmental Review

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected certain portions of an environmental analysis conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or "Commission"). This...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

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: California is ahead of EPA on climate rules - Los Angeles Times - Jun 5: In 2006, when California adopted AB 32, its landmark global warming law, it acted virtually alone. Now, the state...more

Guidance for Managing NEPA-Related Risks and Other Risks in Project Delivery - National Cooperative Highway Research Program...

In This Issue: - AUTHOR'S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS - GUIDANCE FOR MANAGING LEGAL RISKS IN THE NEPA PROCESS ..Early Identification and Assessment of Legal Risks ..Methods for Managing Legal Risks ..Legal Risk...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - May 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96% - Los Angeles Times - May 23: Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96 percent the estimated amount of...more

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Environmental Review of Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement

Ninth Circuit Affirms District Court’s Decision Approving NEPA and Clean Air Act Review of Federal QSA - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued its decision on the federal case challenging...more

Spring 2014 CEQA Roundup

It’s that time of year again – business mixers, the Giants in first place in the NL west, the school year winding down, the NBA and NHL playoffs in full swing, coastal whale migrations, California bursting with beautiful...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

British Columbia’s Supreme Court Considers the Duty to Consult in the Context of an Environmental Review Process

On April 3, 2014 the British Columbia Supreme Court released its decision in Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2014 BCSC 568. The case concerned an application for judicial...more

CEQA’s Standards For Subsequent Review To Be Addressed By Supreme Court

In a rare grant of review of an unpublished case, the California Supreme Court granted review on January 15, 2014 of the decision in Friends of the College at San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District...more

Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Saudi Prince in Benedict Canyon Case

Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Saudi Prince in Benedict Canyon Case Rejects arguments that ordinance requires environmental review In the much publicized case of a Saudi Prince seeking to build his residential...more

Waste Board Amends VRP Regulations: What’s Changed?

The Virginia Waste Management Board has amended the Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program (“VRP”) regulations. The amended regulations – known as Amendment 2 – went into effect on January 29, 2014. All sites now in the VRP...more

Feds’ Reliance on Environmental Activism Underscores Need for Lacey Act Compliance

The search warrant recently executed by U.S. Customs and Fish and Wildlife Service agents on a Virginia-based flooring wholesaler surrounded allegations that the company had illegally imported wood in violation of the Lacey...more

New Standard Will Help Clarify Environmental Conditions For Homebuilders

When you are buying raw land to build homes, you need to know what you are buying. A 100-acre tract of farmland may look pristine to the untrained eye, but an environmental professional may discover a leaking underground...more

Be Careful What You Look For: EPA Updates “All Appropriate Inquiries” Environmental Diligence Standard

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries” rule, which sets out the standard for environmental due diligence in commercial and industrial property...more

Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments (December 2013)

The regulatory action (i) updates current remediation levels and sampling and analysis methods; (ii) improves reporting and notification requirements; (iii) clarifies eligibility, application, registration fee, and...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

Summary Of HUD’s LEAN 232 Program E-Mail Blast: Office Of Residential Care Facilities (ORCF), November 12, 2013

In an effort to summarize the highlights of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) LEAN E-mail Blasts that we receive, and rarely have time to review in a timely fashion, we at Pepper are providing this...more

All About “Commitment”: CEQA Review is Not Triggered By Orange County’s AB 900 Application For State Funding To Expand Existing...

In a decision recently ordered published, the Fourth District Court of Appeal added to the growing progeny of Save Tara, and affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying the City of Irvine’s writ petition seeking to compel...more

North Carolina Legislative Report - November 15, 2013

The General Assembly has officially completed its business for the 2013 long session. The 2014 short session will begin on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

The Heat is On! - Offshore Fracking Activities Drawing Significant Opposition

Opposition is heating up against four offshore frac jobs permitted to occur off the Santa Barbara coastline. This year, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) has permitted DCOR, LLC to utilize fracking...more

USDOT Proposes Regulations Allowing States To Assume USDOT Responsibilities For Environmental Review Under NEPA And Other Laws

On August 30, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) proposed regulations for the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program, a program that allows states to assume federal environmental review authority for...more

Adopting Thresholds of Significance Under CEQA Not Subject to CEQA Review

In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (CBIA) (Case No. A135335 (Cal. Ct. App. 1st, August 13, 2013)), the First District Court of Appeal overturned the trial court and held...more

California High-Speed Rail Authority Violated Proposition 1A

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (“Authority”) had a major setback on Friday when Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled that the Authority had “abused its discretion by approving a funding plan...more

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