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Council on Environmental Quality Takes First Step to Implement Trump Executive Order on Streamlining Federal Environmental Reviews

On September 14, 2017, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which oversees compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by federal agencies, announced a list of planned actions to implement President...more

Time Will Tell Whether Trump Executive Order Succeeds in Reducing Time for Federal Environmental Review and Permits for Major...

On August 15, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13807 (EO 13807), which seeks to streamline federal environmental review and approvals of major infrastructure projects by imposing new timelines and procedures. The...more

Time Will Tell If Trump Infrastructure Executive Order Shortens Federal Reviews

On August 15, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) (not yet numbered) that seeks to streamline federal environmental review and approvals of major infrastructure projects by imposing new timelines and...more

Office of Planning and Research Releases Updated General Plan Guidelines

On August 2, 2017, the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released its first update to the General Plan Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) since 2003. The Guidelines provide guidance to cities and...more

FTA Proposes Rule Waiving Regulatory Burdens on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) for Public Transportation Projects

On July 31, 2017, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register, for a proposed regulation that would establish new, experimental procedures to encourage use of...more

Lynch v. California Coastal Commission: The California Supreme Court Retreats from Deciding on “Managed Retreat” from Coastal...

On July 6, the California Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Lynch v. California Coastal Commission (case no. S221980). In this case, coastal homeowners alleged that, in issuing a permit to construct a...more

CalEnviroScreen 3.0 – Still the Wrong Tool for CEQA Review

On January 9, 2017, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released an “Update to the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool,”...more

California Supreme Court Sets New Deferential Standard for Supplemental CEQA Review

In Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District, No. S214061 (Cal. September 19, 2016), the California Supreme Court rejected the “new project” test for determining whether a changed...more

Using Drones for a Bird’s Eye View of Wildlife

Project applicants and permitting and funding agencies often gather extensive scientific data to support project evaluations under environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species...more

Saving Private Partnerships: Court Upholds P3 Project against CEQA Challenge under Save Tara

A 2008 California Supreme Court decision, Save Tara v. City of West Hollywood, cast doubt on local governments’ ability to enter into agreements with private developers prior to completing project review under the California...more

“Reverse CEQA” Reversed: California Supreme Court Rejects CEQA Analysis of Impacts of the Environment on the Project

In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (December 17, 2015) (Case No. S213478) (CBIA v. BAAQMD), the California Supreme Court rejected a requirement for so-called “reverse CEQA”...more

Risky “Business as Usual”: The California Supreme Court Upholds the BAU Approach to CEQA Climate Impact Analysis, but Sets a High...

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife,1 the California Supreme Court upheld the “Business as Usual” (BAU) approach for analyzing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the California Environmental...more

California Supreme Court Creates Two-Part CEQA Exemption Test in Berkeley Hillside

Developers and agencies seeking to expedite project reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) often chafe under its unique “fair argument” standard of judicial review, which sets a very low bar for...more

3/5/2015

Aurora Energy Decision Deems Discharges Prohibited, Leaves Open Question of Permit Shield Applicability

On September 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services, LLC, holding that the Clean Water Act General Permit for...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

Bay Area Air District’s Significance Thresholds Reinstated: No CEQA Review for CEQA Review Thresholds

A new appellate decision reinstates the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s controversial “significance thresholds” for evaluating air quality impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act. ...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

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