Fourth District Holds Storm Drainage Repair and Subsequent Revegetation Project Properly Exempted from CEQA

The City of San Diego appealed a judgment granting CREED-21’s petition for injunctive and other relief for CEQA violations relating to emergency storm drainage repair and revegetation projects in La Jolla. The court held in …

California Supreme Court Establishes Two-Part Test for Determining Whether the “Unusual Circumstances” Exception Applies to a Categorical Exemption

The California Supreme Court reversed the First District Court of Appeal’s decision that the “unusual circumstances” exception in CEQA Guidelines section 15300.2, subdivision (c), precluded the City of Berkeley’s finding that a single-family residence qualified …

First District Court of Appeal Rejects Challenge to California Air Resources Board’s Regulations Implementing the Cap-and-Trade Program

The First District Court of Appeal has held the California Air Resources Board (CARB) did not exceed its authority under the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (2006 Act) in implementing the Compliance Offset …

Third District Court of Appeal Upholds EIR for Sacramento Kings’ Downtown Arena Project

The Third District Court of Appeal held that the City did not prematurely commit to the arena project by entering into a nonbinding term sheet with the Sacramento Kings or by engaging in land acquisition …

EPA Releases Final Wetland Connectivity Report Clarifying “Significant Nexus”

The US EPA recently released the final draft of its report on the Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters. The purpose of the report is to summarize current scientific understanding about the connectivity …

Third Appellate District Upholds Department of Fish and Wildlife EIR, But Finds Department Violated APA in Adopting Underground Regulations

The Third District Court of Appeal held that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s program EIR analyzing the Department’s statewide fish hatchery and stocking enterprise passed muster. The Department did not abuse its discretion …

City Council Member’s Appeal of Planning Commission Decision Violated Principles of Fairness and the Newport Beach Municipal Code

In Woody’s Group, Inc. v. City of Newport Beach, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 3, reversed the trial court’s decision denying a writ of administrative mandamus and held that the City Council of …

SB 4 Implementation to Yield New Permanent Regulations, an EIR, and an Independent Scientific Study by July 2015

Senate Bill 4 (SB 4), which was sponsored by Senator Fran Pavley and signed into law on September 20, 2013, requires state agencies to complete three main tasks in creating a comprehensive regulatory program for …

DWR Increases Water Deliveries to State Agencies

As California enters its fourth year of drought, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is increasing the amount of State Water Project (SWP) water allocated to state agencies by 5 percent—from 10 percent of the …

National Marine Fisheries Service Reverses Finding that CWA Streamlined Permitting Program Could Create Jeopardy Under ESA

In a newly issued Biological Opinion, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has reversed its 2012 finding that the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) streamlined nationwide permitting program could result in jeopardy under the Endangered Species …

First District Holds Timber Management Plan Does Not Violate CEQA

The court held that a Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP) approved by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) authorizing logging on 615 privately owned acres in Mendocino County did not violate …

US EPA Delays Rollout of New Clean Power Rules

On January 7, the EPA announced that it is delaying release of proposed power plant rules. The rules are intended to lower the power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030. EPA states the …

Supreme Court will hear Friends of the Eel River

The California Supreme Court has granted a petition for review of Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority. We previously wrote about the case here. Friends of the Eel River and Town …

Surface Transportation Board rules that federal law preempts application of CEQA to a portion of the high-speed rail line.

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued a ruling on December 12, 2014, concluding that 49 U.S.C. § 10501(b) preempts application of CEQA to the Fresno to Bakersfield segment of the state high-speed rail project. Under …