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 […]

Challenge to Trump Sage Grouse Protections

On October 16, 2019, a federal court in Idaho blocked President Trump’s plan to ease bird protections on oil lands. Earlier in 2019, President Trump’s administration amended the sage grouse protection plans for Nevada, northeastern California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.  Under the weakened protections, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) could more easily […]

Waters of the U.S. Rule Update

The 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule that is currently in place in 22 of the 50 states nationwide will be repealed effective December 23, 2019. The Trump Administration released a rule repealing the 2015 rule on October 22, 2019. This is part one of the two-part plan to replace the Obama Administration waters of […]

California’s War On Oil Ratchets Up

California Reviews Fracking and Places a Moratorium on High-Pressure Steam Wells On November 19, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom directed California oil and gas regulators to stop approving fracking permits until an independent audit determines that pending well stimulation permit applications meet the state’s technical standards for public health, safety and environmental protection. Additionally, a moratorium […]

How California Became America’s Housing Market Nightmare

California, the land of golden dreams, has become America’s worst housing nightmare. Recent wildfires have only heightened the stakes for a state that can’t seem to build enough new homes. The median price for a house now tops $600,000, more than twice the national level. The state has four of the country’s five most expensive […]

Army Corps leaders face questions on projects, reorganization

Ariel Wittenberg, E&E News reporter, Published: Monday, October 21, 2019 Leaders from the Army Corps of Engineers will appear before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday as Congress looks to pass another water infrastructure authorization package in 2020. The hearing, titled “Improving American Economic Competitiveness through Water Resources Infrastructure,” will include testimony […]

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 […]

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