Land Use

EIP Riverpark Approved: California’s Newest Mitigation Bank

Four state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently signed the Bank Enabling Instrument (“BEI”) for the Riverpark Mitigation Bank. Ecosystem Industrial Partners (“EIP”), the Bank Sponsor for Riverpark, hired Mitchell […]

U.S. Supreme Court Deals Oregon Small Miners A Blow

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has declined to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Bohmker v. Oregon, holding that Oregon’s five-year moratorium on the use of motorized mining equipment in rivers and streams that contain essential salmon habitat is not preempted by federal law. The Oregon law was passed following California’s revisions to California Fish […]

California Court Places a Limit on the Expansion of Legal Nonconforming Mining Operations

On March 6, 2019, the California First District Court of Appeal, in Point San Pedro Road Coalition v. County of Marin (2019) 245 Cal.Rptr.3d 580, considered whether import of asphalt grindings was within a mine’s legal nonconforming use or whether it was an impermissible expansion or enlargement. The court found that the import improperly expanding […]

Update on CWA Proposed Replacement Rule

Public comments closed earlier this week on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the Army Corps.’ proposed replacement rule designed to clarify which waterways in the country are subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction. While supporters of the new rule urged an even narrower approach, opponents attacked it as an abdication of environmental responsibility. […]

San Francisco and Oakland Declare War on Oil Companies (Again)

San Francisco and Oakland have renewed their fight to try and make Big Oil pay for climate-change related infrastructure damage, asking a federal appeals court earlier this week to reconsider their previously dismissed lawsuits against five oil companies. San Francisco and Oakland argue that a federal judge wrongly kept their cases out of state court […]

Trump Issues More Executive Orders Rolling Back Energy and Oil Regulations

President Trump issued two executive orders this past Wednesday that are meant to roll back energy regulations and promote fossil fuel development. In particular, the pair of executive orders are aimed at speeding up the permitting process for oil and gas infrastructure projects and curbing states’ ability to hold up approvals. Under Section 401 of […]

California State Water Board Adopts Controversial Wetlands Rule

Culminating a process that began 11 years ago, the California State Water Resources Control Board last week unanimously adopted a revised policy to protect wetlands in the State. The policy creates a new definition of wetlands peculiar to California, gives a framework to determine a water of the state (nearly everything), and clarifies requirements for […]

Congress Passes Largest Public Lands Package in Decades

The National Resources Management Act was approved yesterday by Congress in a landslide 363-62 vote. The Act is a sweeping public lands conservation package that will protect millions of acres of land and rivers across the country. It also designates over 1 million acres of new wilderness land, with almost 700,000 acres reserved for recreation […]

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