Ninth Circuit Rules on CWA Pollution Liability

On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that wastewater injections whose pollutions reach navigable U.S. waters via groundwater are subject to the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Experts say this decision could drastically expand the scope of CWA liability and includes activities ranging from coal ash and pipeline spills to agricultural runoff. In coming to this decision, […]

CEQA: Second District Court of Appeal Affirms Trial Court Authority to Limit Decertification of EIR

In a case certified for partial publication, the Second District Court of Appeal addressed the Public Resources Code section 21168.9 mandate that a court’s order overturning the CEQA decision of a public agency shall be limited to the scope necessary to bring the agency’s decision into compliance with CEQA. The case, Center for Biological Diversity […]

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In an unpublished decision filed November 6, 2017, the First district Court of Appeal upheld a County decision to approve a design review application for a market and grocery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 […]

CEQA Plaintiffs Still Searching For “Unusual Circumstances”

The First District Court of Appeal recently upheld the City of South San Francisco’s decision to approve a CUP for converting office buildings to a medical clinic via a CEQA categorical exemption. (Respect Life South San Francisco v. City of South San Francisco (2017) Case No. A145992.) The proposed conversion included only minor physical changes […]

California Farmer Facing Almost $3 Million in Fines for Plowing Own Field

A California farmer is facing a $2.8 million fine and a trial in federal court this summer for failing to get a permit to plow his own field. John Duarte, of Duarte Nursery, bought 450 acres of land near Modesto in 2012, where he planned to grow wheat. While his wheat was planted, it was […]

Supreme Court Justices Ask Trump Administration to Weigh In on California Mining Prohibition

The U.S. Supreme Court is requesting that the Trump administration evaluate the extent to which states can prohibit mining activity on federal lands. Earlier this week, the Justices asked the acting solicitor general to weigh in on a case brought by a part-time prospector who hopes to knock down a specific California ban on a […]

U.S. Supreme Court will hear Waters of the United States Case Over Trump Objection

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that it will hear a case related to the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States rule, promulgated under the Obama administration. The Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s motion to put the ligation on hold in light of President Trump’s February executive […]

Environmental Groups Pile On Proposed Warriors Arena

Environmental groups voice opposition to proposed Warriors arena citing inadequate analysis of traffic, air quality, and noise impacts. On October 3, 2016, the Center for Biological Diversity, Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, and Sunset Coalition (“Coalition”) submitted an amicus curiae brief in opposition to the arena, joining the petitioners/appellants in alleging […]

Court of Appeal Upholds Mine’s Vested Right

Court of Appeal Upholds Santa Clara County’s Finding of Mine’s Legal Nonconforming Use Status In No Toxic Air, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, California’s Court of Appeal for the Sixth District upheld Santa Clara County’s finding that a mine in operation since 1903 was properly deemed a legal, nonconforming use. Lehigh Southwest Cement Company and […]

Wyoming Judge To BLM: Hands Off Oil and Gas Development

      Wyoming Judge To BLM: Hands Off Oil and Gas Development A federal judge in Wyoming struck down the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s fracking rule for federal and Indian lands, finding that BLM lacked congressional authority to issue the regulations. The Obama fracking rule added a permit requirement for hydraulic fracturing on BLM lands, […]

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