California Environmental Law and Policy Update - July 2014

by Allen Matkins

Environmental and Policy Focus

Second leg of California bullet-train line approved - Jun 27

On June 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation gave its approval for work to begin on the second leg of California's proposed $68 billion high-speed rail line. The decision allows the state to begin acquiring land along the 114-mile route from Fresno and Bakersfield, although the state is still waiting for approval from the federal Surface Transportation Board before it can begin construction on this segment. The California High-Speed Rail Authority asked the board to issue a decision by the end of the summer.

California rice farmers could get pollution credit for shortening duration of field flooding

Sacramento Bee - Jul 2

California’s evolving cap-and-trade market may soon have a new player: rice farmers. A proposal by the California Air Resources Board staff, up for board review in September, would allow rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley to sell carbon emission offsets as part of the state’s effort to combat climate change. Rice farmers would flood their fields for shorter periods, which would reduce the decomposition process that emits methane, a greenhouse gas.

California toughens enforcement of water violations

Fresno Bee - Jul 2

On July 2, 2014, California’s State Water Resources Control Board approved emergency drought regulations aimed at forcing water users to act swiftly when told to stop diverting water from streams. After meeting for nearly 12 hours over two days, the Board voted unanimously to approve the new rules package. The emergency regulations mean that for the next nine months, the Board can follow a streamlined process to force some water-rights holders to stop diverting from rivers and streams.

Governor Jerry Brown's proposal intensifies water bond negotiations

Los Angeles Times - Jun 25

Governor Jerry Brown's call for a drastically cheaper water bond set off a fresh round of negotiations in the Capitol last week, as lawmakers and stakeholders seek to craft a plan that addresses the state's myriad water needs without a bloated price tag. Brown's $6-billion bond proposal, which was fleshed out in greater detail last Wednesday, marks a significant step up in the governor's engagement with the effort to pass a water bond to replace the $11.1-billion measure now on the November ballot.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to California global warming rule - Jun 30

An attempt to block one of California’s key climate change regulations, designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from fuel, failed when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case on June 30, 2014. The regulation, known as the low carbon fuel standard, requires oil companies to reduce the emissions associated with the fuels they sell in California, lowering emissions 10 percent by 2020.

Developers seek end to federal protections for California gnatcatcher

Los Angeles Times - Jun 29

Developers citing new scientific evidence are pressing to end federal protections for the California gnatcatcher, whose status as a threatened species has barred development in many coastal areas of Southern California for two decades. Developers argue that DNA analyses show that the coastal California gnatcatcher is no different from other gnatcatchers flourishing from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the southern tip of Baja California. If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agrees, it could remove federal protections it extended to the bird in 1993 — opening the way to development on an estimated 197,000 acres of largely coastal land in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water project heads to California Supreme Court

Contra Costa Times - Jun 30

The California Supreme Court is set to decide if the state must buy thousands of acres of private property to perform preliminary tests for two massive water tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The dispute stems from Governor Jerry Brown's proposal, which would send river water around the delta system to farms and communities in Central and Southern California. The state's Department of Water Resources asked the court to weigh in after an appellate ruling in March said officials were not allowed to enter private property without permission from landowners, who oppose the project.

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s appeal of shutdown order

KQED - Jun 30

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from Marin County’s Drakes Bay Oyster Co., the Point Reyes business that has been fighting for a decade to renew its lease at Point Reyes National Seashore. Drakes Bay has lost successive rounds in its attempt to persuade federal courts that, by denying the oyster farm’s attempt to renew a lease that ran out in late 2012, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar had violated both federal environmental and administrative law.


Written by:

Allen Matkins

Allen Matkins on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.