» Land Use

Stranded in Level 1 or Level 2? The 2020 IGP Amendments Allow an Escape

April 2020 Operators under California’s Industrial General Permit (IGP) are familiar with the challenge of maintaining “baseline” status under the IGP. This is especially true for mines and construction material producers, whose facilities are… Read More
Read More

March 31 Bay Area Shelter-In-Place Order - Impact On Construction Materials Operations

April 1, 2020 Yesterday, March 31, six Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco [County/City], and San Mateo) and one city (Berkeley) issued an updated shelter-in-place order. THE ORDER IS IDENTICAL FOR EACH COUNTY/… Read More
Read More

New CEQA Transportation Analysis Guidelines: A Fundamental Change

March 2020 On July 1, 2020, new guidelines will go into effect marking a fundamental shift in how transportation impacts are analyzed under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). The new guidelines, adopted at 14 CCR § 15063.4, will… Read More
Read More

State Auditor Finds That California Department of Fish & Widlife Failed to Comply With its Obligations Under CEQA

June 2019 On June 27, 2019, the State Auditor affirmed that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“DFW”) “is not fulfilling its responsibilities under the California Environmental Quality Act [(“CEQA”)].” In response to a Joint… Read More
Read More

US EPA Clean Water Act Guidance: Discharges To Groundwater That Affect Surface Water Are Excluded From NPDES Program

On April 12, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a guidance memorandum stating that point source discharges to groundwater, which subsequently migrate or are conveyed to surface water, are excluded from the Clean Water Act’s NPDES… Read More
Read More

Georgetown Preservation Society v. County of El Dorado - Despite Compliance with Local Design Standards Lay Opinion on Aesthetics Can Support a CEQA "Fair Argument"

A recent opinion by California’s Third Appellate District holds that even if a project conforms to county historic design guidelines, lay opinions relating to the aesthetics may support a fair argument of substantial impacts on the environment. Read More
Read More

Ninth Circuit Holds That Environmental Restrictions Which Ban Specific Mining Methods are not Preempted by Federal Law

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an Oregon state law which prohibited certain in-stream mining methods was a reasonable environmental regulation and thus was not preempted by federal law. Read More
Read More

Protect Niles v. City of Fremont - Personal Observations May Support a CEQA "Fair Argument"

August 2018 A recent unpublished opinion by California’s First Appellate District highlights the risk that CEQA lead agencies face when they approve projects with potential visual or traffic impacts based on a negative declaration. In Protect Niles… Read More
Read More

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Violates NEPA by Allowing Licensing Decisions to Stand While NEPA Defects Are Corrected

July 2018 Oglala Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20215 The District of Columbia Circuit recently held that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s practice of leaving licensing decisions in effect while under… Read More
Read More

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service Propose Revisions to Endangered Species Act Regulations

July 2018 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (together “Agencies”) have jointly proposed revisions to regulations that implement por… Read More
Read More