Environmental Impact Report

News & Analysis as of

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part II – Proposed “Substance” and Major...

On September 18, 2015, I posted a “Part I” piece on the “efficiency improvements” category of OPR’s Preliminary Discussion Draft of its “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). This follow up post...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

Energy & Environment Update - September 2015 #4

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - After a busy week with Yom Kippur and visits from Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Congress is focusing this week on finalizing a continuing resolution and preparing for new...more

$1-Billion Committed to Development of Quebec’s Mining, Hydrocarbon Industries

The Quebec government has recently announced that the Capital Mines Hydrocarbon fund (CMH Fund), the purpose of which is to acquire equity interests in mining and hydrocarbon projects in Quebec, is officially in effect. The...more

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique Of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part I – Proposed “Efficiency...

On August 11, 2015, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a 145-page “Preliminary Discussion Draft” of “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). The Discussion Draft “contains...more

High Rollers Are Fine but Resort Casino Needs Orange Line Riders to Thrive

On the sidewalks of Everett, I have heard it said that Steve Wynn is quietly planning to lure planeloads of nouveau riche from the People’s Republic of China to his new “Wynn Everett” casino on the banks of the Mystic...more

Condemnation Projects Everywhere!

Public agencies in California are once again getting busy with new projects. It seems at every event I attend all the right-of-way professionals, appraisers and eminent domain attorneys tell me they’re fully occupied. ...more

California High Court Humbles Itself Over CEQA Case

The Supreme Court of California recently released its second California Environmental Quality Act decision of 2015, addressing a key issue for state agencies undertaking projects that require off-site environmental...more

California Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument in Key CEQA Case

The California Supreme Court has announced that the oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District will take place on October 7, 2015, in San Francisco. The CBIA case...more

California Supreme Court Ponders Greenhouse Gas, Fully Protected Species Issues

The California Supreme Court heard argument on September 2, 2015 in a greenhouse gas (GHG) and fully protected species case with important state-wide implications. (Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and...more

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015

Substance Over Form—A Refreshing Application of CEQA Analysis: City of Irvine v. County of Orange (2015) 283 Cal.App.4th 526 - Why It Matters: The Court of Appeal in City of Irvine v. County of Orange elaborated...more

California Supreme Court Ponders Fully Protected Species Issues

On September 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case involving fully protected species that may have important state-wide implications. (Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and...more

Eagles Back in the Nest: FWS 30-Year Eagle “Take” Rule Vacated Less than Two Years after Implementation

On August 11, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California struck down a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) regulation that increased the maximum duration of programmatic permits...more

Greater sage-grouse and land use in the inter-mountain west

The greater sage-grouse—a ground-dwelling, chicken-like bird—has been the focus of controversy pitting conservation against energy development and ranching interests across the inter-mountain west. The greater sage-grouse’s...more

OPR Releases Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments for Public Comments

On August 11, 2015, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a Preliminary Discussion Draft of Changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Preliminary Discussion Draft). The OPR...more

No Short Cuts Allowed: The FWS Must Comply with NEPA Before Extending Programmatic Take Permits to 30 Years

Earlier this month, the Judge Lucy Koh set aside the Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision to extend its programmatic permit for bald and golden eagle takes from five to 30 years. The extension was sought by the wind industry...more

State Agencies Cannot Use State Budgetary Uncertainties to Escape Mitigation Obligations under CEQA

The California Supreme court determined the California State University ("CSU") could not rely solely on earmarked appropriations from the State Legislature for payment of "fair share" mitigation fees the CSU determined...more

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under...more

CEQA Litigation Abuses Documented By New Empirical Study Of Recent Case Filings

A 138-page report, including 371 footnotes and a 30-page appendix listing all properly documented CEQA lawsuits filed in California over its 3-year study period (2010-2012), has been posted by its authors, Holland & Knight...more

California Governor's Office Releases Comprehensive Update to State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines

On August 11, 2015, the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released its Preliminary Discussion Draft of a comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines – the first global update to the CEQA Guidelines...more

Federal District Court Strikes Down Eagle Act Rule

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck down the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s so-called “30-Year Rule,” which had extended from 5 years to 30 years the duration of...more

Army Corps Issues Notice for Long Island Sound Dredging Plan

On August 17, 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, released for public review and comment the Draft Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)...more

Avoiding NEPA – Even for “Worthy Goals” – Is Never Advisable

From the very first day of my legal career, clients have asked me some variation of this question: “Why can’t we just prepare a shorter Environmental Assessment (EA) or even issue a Categorical Exclusion (no analysis at all)...more

Court Strikes Down FWS Rule for 30-Year Eagle Incidental Take Permits

In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) issued a rule increasing the maximum duration from five to 30 years of programmatic permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act to “take” bald or golden eagles...more

Supplement — Curtin’s California Land Use

This Supplement is intended for use in conjunction with Curtin’s California Land Use & Planning Law, Thirty-Fourth Edition (2014), authored by Perkins Coie attorneys Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew S. Gray. In lieu of...more

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