USEPA and Army Corps Releases Long-Awaited Waters of the U.S. Rule

Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the final revised Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) Rule, also called the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule.” This significant announcement marks the end of a multi-year two-step regulatory process to narrow and streamline the legal definition of federal jurisdictional waters, with the […]

New California Permit Streamlining Changes in Effect January 1, 2020

Senate Bill 330 (Skinner 2020) (the “Bill”) goes in effect at the start of the year. The Bill is designed to mitigate the shortage of housing California is experiencing in several ways.  One such way is streamlining the permitting process for proposed housing development projects.  The Bill defines a “housing development project” to mean any […]

CDFW Listing Decision for California Yellow-Legged Frog Announced

At its December 2019 meeting in Sacramento, the California Fish and Game Commission  took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the two-day meeting. The Commission made a listing decision under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) regarding the foothill yellow-legged frog. […]

‘The California price’: Why it costs so much to build a home in the Golden State

The sound of electric saws slicing through plywood pierces the air in the Twelve Bridges neighborhood in Lincoln, a suburb outside Sacramento where new single-family homes are rising. Despite the progress, Mike Wyatt, like many housing developers in this state, is frustrated. Building these two-story tract homes will take a few months, but getting to […]

Blue States Sue Feds Over Trump Rollback of Obama Waters of the U.S. Rule

A coalition sued the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) on December 20, 2019 over the rollback of the Obama 2015 Waters of the U.S. (“WOTUS”) rule. The coalition included the states of New York, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, the commonwealths of Massachusetts and Virginia, Washington, D.C., […]

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 […]

Interior Department, states appeal sage grouse ruling

The federal Interior Department, Idaho and Wyoming are appealing a court ruling that halted a Trump administration plan to ease land-use restrictions in seven Western states that protect struggling sage grouse. The notices filed Monday say the agency and states will seek a review by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of an October […]

CARB Accelerates the Timeline to Regulate Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Emissions

On December 12, 2019, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”), along with representatives from seven other states and the District of Columbia, signed a Statement of Intent.  The Statement of Intent committed all parties to the agreement to develop a multi-state memorandum of understanding to support and accelerate the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty Zero […]

Third District Court of Appeal Upholds EIR for Retail Store Expansion

The Third District Court of Appeal issued a partially published decision in the case Chico Advocates for a Responsible Economy v. City of Chico (40 Cal.App.5th 839), which address an EIR prepared for a Walmart Expansion Project. In the published portion, the court addressed the EIR analysis of urban decay impacts and methodology used therein. […]

First District Court of Appeal Upholds MND for Winery Project

The First District Court of Appeal issued a published decision upholding a mitigated negative declaration in the case Maacama Watershed Alliance v. County of Sonoma (40 Cal.App.5th 1007). It can be difficult to defend an MND in litigation, so seeing a published case upholding one is somewhat uncommon. This case focused on the quality of […]

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