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California Attempts to Fill the Clean Water Act Breach - State Water Board Issues Revised Rule for Definition of Wetlands and...

Although the federal government under the Trump Administration is stepping back from regulations under the Clean Water Act (CWA) – see President Donald Trump's Executive Orderand proposed federal rule – the state of...more

Calif. High Court: U.S. Rail Law Doesn't Categorically Pre-empt CEQA on Public Entity Projects - Decision Sets Up Showdown with...

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Cal. Pub. Res. Code §21000 et seq., imposes significant procedural and substantive requirements on private and public projects throughout the state. However, even a state law...more

Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits Reissued: Permit Streamlining Remains Intact

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on Jan. 6, 2017, published a final rule reissuing its Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits (NWPs) with some modifications (88 Fed. Reg. 1860). The NWP program authorizes streamlined...more

Projecting the Future: Court Upholds Listing for Bearded Seals - Ninth Circuit Decision Based on Projections of Climate Change...

In Alaska Oil & Gas Ass'n v. Pritzker, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently upheld a rule listing two species of seals as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) based on climate change...more

White House Issues Final Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in NEPA Reviews

After more than six years of review and the issuance of several draft guidance documents, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published on Aug. 5, 2016, its final guidance on considering greenhouse gas...more

Supreme Court: Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Challengeable in Federal Court

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on May 31, 2016, in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., No. 15-290, slip op., 578 U.S. ___ (2016) that approved jurisdictional determinations (JDs) issued by...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Draft 30-Year Programmatic Eagle Take Permit - Longer Permit Terms Welcome, But Certain Proposed...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on May 6, 2016, issued a draft rule that would extend to 30 years the maximum life of permits authorizing the incidental take of bald and golden eagles pursuant to the federal Bald...more

New ESA Regulations Expand Impact of "Critical Habitat" Designations

Two new rules and one new policy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) relating to the process of designating and protecting "critical habitat" under the Endangered...more

Will FAST Act Make Permitting Faster? Streamlining Offered for Infrastructure Projects

The new federal highway funding legislation, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 4, 2015, provides long-term funding certainty for surface transportation...more

New Regulations Could Expand CEQA Review of Impacts to Common Birds - California Department of Fish & Wildlife Proposes Draft...

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) published draft regulations interpreting California laws that protect birds of prey, and the nests and eggs of birds generally. These draft regulations, released on Aug. 14,...more

Obama Administration Issues Final Rule on “Waters of the United States” - The Rule Will Expand The Universe Of "Waters" Subject To...

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (collectively, the “agencies”) issued a final rule revising the regulatory definition of “Waters of the United...more

NEPA Revised Draft Guidance on Consideration of GHG Emissions: Version 2.0 - Proposal Requires Federal Agencies to Assess GHG and...

Nearly five years after issuing its initial draft, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) continues to revise its draft guidance on conducting greenhouse gas (GHG) impact analyses under the National...more

Proposed Endangered Species Act Regulations Would Revise Rules And Protections Related To "Critical Habitat" - Proposal Would...

HIGHLIGHTS - - The proposed regulations would considerably change the regulatory definitions related to "critical habitat" and "adverse modification," increasing agency discretion to designate and protect areas that...more

Obama Administration Releases Proposed Rule on "Waters of the United States"

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule that will impact many segments of the U.S. economy, greatly expanding future permitting requirements. The proposed rule...more

The 30-Year Programmatic Eagle Take Permit: How Much Certainty Does It Provide?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule that takes limited action to extend the maximum life of programmatic eagle take permits to 30 years, provides for permit transferability, and sets processing and...more

Bay Delta Conservation Plan and Draft EIR Released for Public Comment: Greatest Habitat Restoration Plan Ever or Pork Barrel...

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), an ecosystem plan designed to restore habitat and help endangered fish species recover while also keeping water flowing to customers through construction of the proposed water tunnel...more

California's New Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations: Implications and Next Steps

California's Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) is one of the first laws in the United States to regulate hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"). On November 15, 2013, the state's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) issued...more

City of Ceres: California Appeals Court CEQA Decision Complicates Whether Agencies' Communications with Developers Are Privileged

On July 8, 2013, the Fifth District of the California Court of Appeal issued Citizens for Ceres v. Super. Ct. of Stanislaus County (Case No. F065690 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th, July 8, 2013)) (Ceres), a perplexing opinion holding...more

The Sun is Shining on Solar: Deference to Lead Agency Given in Panoche Valley Solar Project CEQA/Williamson Act Decision

In a recent California appellate decision addressing a challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Williamson Act to the Panoche Valley Solar Project, a photovoltaic solar project on approximately...more

Integrating NEPA and NHPA Section 106 Reviews: New Guidance Document Provides Useful Advice, But Leaves Some Questions Unanswered

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), as part of its effort to modernize and reinvigorate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), released two handbooks on March 5, 2013, that provide regulatory guidance to...more

3/21/2013

Federal Efficiency/Streamlining: CEQ Issues New NEPA Guidance Documents

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released two handbooks under the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on March 5, 2013, that provide regulatory guidance to "encourage more efficient environmental...more

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