News

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The 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule that is currently in place in 22 of the 50 states nationwide will be repealed effective December 23, 2019.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 […]

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 […]

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