lawsuit

Enviro Group Sues Forest Service (unsuccessfully) Over Imaginary Wolves

On May 29, a federal judge in California dismissed an environmental group’s lawsuit accusing the U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, of improperly approving a forest-thinning project. The group argued that the project would imperil gray wolves and northern spotted owls; the former is endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, while […]

Second District Court of Appeal Upholds Project Approved via MND (and a Categorical Exemption)

The Second District Court of Appeal upheld an infill project approved by the City of Covina in the case Covina Residents for Responsible Development v. City of Covina (Cal. Ct. App., Feb. 28, 2018, No. B279590). The project at issue involved a 58-unit, mixed use, infill project located about a quarter-mile from a commuter rail […]

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, […]

Ninth Circuit Denies Challenge Over Owl Species

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit rejected environmentalists’ appeal to overturn a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) policy that allows the taking of one owl species to help recover another. Friends of Animals initially sued the USFWS over a 2014 plan to kill thousands of barred owls (on the left in […]

Substantial Evidence: It’s a thing. Fifth District Court of Appeal Upholds General Plan Update, Citing Plaintiff’s Failure to Introduce Substantial Evidence

In an unpublished opinion filed January 4, 2018, the Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected challenges to a general plan update prepared by the City of Visalia. Plaintiffs in the case argued that the EIR prepared by the City failed to adequately address urban decay impacts. In particular, plaintiffs argued that the 40,000 square foot […]

California River Watch Files Suit Against Vineyard Developers Over Protected CTS

  Last week, California River Watch sued a group of vineyard developers for allegedly violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA), arguing that the group engaged in agricultural practices that harm the protected California Tiger Salamander (CTS). In 2014, a group of developers filed for and received permits to convert 9.8 acres of their property into […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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