EPA vs. CA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule on September 19, 2019, eliminating California’s right to create its own greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and other vehicles. The Trump administration’s decision affects more than just California – 13 other states and the District of Columbia have also adopted California’s more stringent emission rules […]

Second District Court of Appeal Upholds Coastal Commission’s Decision to Approve Development Permit

The appellate case Hubbard v. Coastal Commission (Case No. B249835, July 31, 2019) arose from a seemingly small matter. The Coastal Commission granted a coastal development permit (CDP) to the real party, Malibu Valley Farms, to rebuild an equestrian facility following a fire. Opponents, Save Open Space Santa Monica Mountains, challenged the CDP, alleging that […]

Newsom Expected To Sign Assembly Bill 1197 Exempting Homeless Housing from CEQA

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign Assembly Bill 1197 which would exempt any Los Angeles shelter or homeless housing project that receives state or local funding from the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”).  CEQA calls for environmental review of the environmental impacts of a proposed project that requires agency discretionary approval. Proposals to build […]

First District Upholds Streamlined EIR for Mixed-Use Development in Unpublished Case

In the unpublished case, Save the Hill v. City and County of San Francisco (No. A153549), the First District Court of Appeal upheld an environmental impact report (EIR) and project findings for a mixed-use real estate development. In 2008, San Francisco certified an EIR considering various planning alternatives for some of the City’s neighborhoods, including […]

Changes Come to Endangered Species Act Regulations

On August 12, 2019, the Trump Administration released final regulations bringing addressing the difference between a “threatened” species listing and “endangered” listing. Under the new regulations, species that are categorized as “threatened” will not automatically receive the same protections as those listed as “endangered.”  Additionally, instead of drawing attention to climate change, the regulations allows […]

Coming to a Town Near You: Rent Control and Continued Housing Shortages

California decides to steer into the crazy skid: Sacramento adopts local rent control ordinance just as California makes another run at a statewide rent control policy. Voters handed left-lining tenant groups and politicians a defeat last year with the failure of Proposition 10, a statewide ballot measure that would have allowed cities to expand rent-control […]

Breaking: California Approves “Waters of the State” Regulations

The California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State (Procedures) on August 28, 2019. The State Water Board issued a Notice of Decision on August 30, 2019. Pursuant to the Procedures, the effective date is nine months upon […]

Supreme Court Clarifies: What is a “Project” Under CEQA?

The California Supreme Court further clarified the fundamental question of what constitutes a “project” under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in its August 19. 2019, decision in Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego, finding that a San Diego ordinance restricting the location of medical marijuana facilities constituted a “project” […]

USEPA Releases Regional Haze Program Guidance

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) released guidance on August 20, 2019 that relaxes some of the stricter guidance from 2016 with how to comply with the Clean Air Act Regional Haze Program. The Clean Air Act Regional Haze Program requires that states work together toward a goal of achieving “natural visibility conditions” at the […]

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