First District Upholds Application of CEQA Categorical Exemption in Marin County

In an unpublished decision filed November 6, 2017, the First district Court of Appeal upheld a County decision to approve a design review application for a market and grocery store renovation project. (Case No. A150043) The petitioner appealed from a trial court decision, which found application of the CEQA exemption proper. Marin County first issued […]

Senate Narrowly Rejects Proposal to Remove Intrastate Species from ESA

Last month (October 2017), the Senate narrowly rejected a proposal from Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) that would have removed intrastate species from federal jurisdiction under the ESA. Current jurisprudence from the Supreme Court extends federal jurisdiction to intrastate endangered species via a very broad interpretation of the interstate commerce clause. The vote to amend the ESA […]

Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Feds: California Gnatcatcher Shouldn’t Be Listed

This week a group of property owners and developers filed suit against the U.S. Department of Interior, alleging that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) violated federal procedure rules when it repeatedly found that the coastal California gnatcatcher is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Filed in a D.C. federal court by the […]

California Congressman: Slow Down Permits! Introduces Bill Targeting Approved But Unimplemented Permits to Drill

Last week, California Representative Alan Lowenthal (D) introduced HR 4103 (2017), also known as the “Having Open Access to Relevant Data Act” or the “HOARD Act.” The legislation specifically targets applicants who have obtained Permits to Drill on federal lands, but had not begun timely drilling. The HOARD Act is in response to the Bureau […]

Third District Court of Appeal Upholds EIR for Freeway Improvement Project

  In an unpublished decision filed on October 24, 2017, the Third District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s denial of a CEQA challenge to a freeway interchange and arterial roadway project. The case, Eureka Village Homeowners Association v. City of Rancho Cordova (C082276) considers whether the EIR prepared by the city analyzed a […]

BLM to Hold Public Hearings on Sage Grouse While Watchdog Group Sues for Public Records

This week the BLM announced its plans to hold public hearings in November to allow for public comment regarding the agency’s decision to reopen 98 federal land use plans that were put in place to protect the greater sage grouse. Meanwhile, a watchdog group filed a federal lawsuit against the Interior Department, claiming the agency […]

EPA Chief Kills “Sue and Settle” Tactic Used By Environmental Groups

On October 16, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued an administrative order with the goal of ensuring that the Environmental Protection Agency is transparent when settling lawsuits – particularly those filed by environmental groups seeking to regulate through litigation. A press release accompanying the administrative order explains that the EPA has long been sued by […]

Mitchell Chadwick Attorney Clif McFarland Recognized by California Manufacturers & Technology Association

  The California Manufacturers & Technology Association (“CMTA”) recently published its annual magazine, California Manufacturers, discussing regulations, laws, and ballot measures that will be considered next year, and profiled companies and individuals that best exemplify the qualities of California manufacturers and supporters. The 2018 edition of the magazine highlights Clif McFarland, acknowledging his advocacy for […]

House Panel Approves Bills Addressing the ESA

The House Natural Resource Committee approved five bills addressing the Federal Endangered Species Act on October 4, 2017. Each bill was limited in scope and addressed different aspects of the ESA. H.R. 717 adds the review of economic cost of listing a species as a consideration under the ESA. Under this provision, the FWS or […]

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