Environmental Review

News & Analysis as of

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In a rare grant of review of an unpublished case, the California Supreme Court granted review on January 15, 2014 of the decision in Friends of the College at San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County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

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

San Francisco Takes Steps to Rationalize the CEQA Process

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPTS NEW CEQA APPEAL PROCEDURES - After nearly a year of effort (and after three previous unsuccessful tries by others), San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted a California Environmental...more

California Supreme Court Redefines “Baseline” Under California Environmental Quality Act

The California Supreme Court has both resolved a split in the appellate courts and forged new law on the baselines agencies may use to assess projects’ environmental effects under CEQA. ...more

Like Athena From the Head of Zeus: Neighbors for Smart Rail Authorizes Future Baselines in CEQA Review

A new California Supreme Court decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, authorizes reliance on anticipated future conditions as the “baseline” for evaluating impacts of long-term...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

Ontario Divisional Court Confirms That Former Directors and Officers Must Remediate While Order Is Under Appeal

On June 19, 2013, in Baker v. Ministry of the Environment, 2013 ONSC 4142 [Baker], the Ontario Divisional Court upheld the decision of the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) that refused to stay a Director’s order...more

State And Federal Wildlife Agencies May Disagree About The Status Of The Great White Shark

Today, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) completed its status review of the northeastern Pacific population of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) and concluded that listing the species under the Endangered...more

Seven Lawsuits Filed Challenging the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan and Environmental Review Document

Seven lawsuits challenging the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan and final environmental document were filed by the June 17 deadline. The groups challenging the Council’s actions represent a range of interests: export...more

The Courts Drag Parking Back into the California Environmental Quality Act - BB&K's Sarah Owsowitz and Stephanie Straka Explore...

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a Californian in possession of a car must be in want of a parking space. And, of course, this space should be free, just steps from your intended destination and available 24...more

DOE Issues Second LNG Export License for Non-FTA Countries

On May 17, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued an order authorizing the Freeport LNG Terminal (“Freeport”) in Quintana Island, Texas to export liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) to nations with which the United...more

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