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EPA Announces Repeal of Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule

In April of 2020 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which sets the definition for “Waters of the United States” which waters are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and EPA.  (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-01/documents/navigable_waters_protection_rule_prepbulication.pdf.)  This 2020 rule, issued under the Trump Administration, set forth a definition of […]

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Petition by Next Energy, LLC, for Hearing Regarding Illinois Moratorium and Onerous Regulations on Fracking

On June 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Next Energy, LLC to hear its case alleging a regulatory taking by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources relating to Illinois’ 2012 moratorium on issuance of permits for horizontal hydraulic fracturing wells, and Illinois’ subsequent onerous regulation […]

Federal Bill Introduced to Loosen The Grip of the Federal Endangered Species Act

On June 15, 2021, United States Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) reintroduced the Native Species Protection Act (“Bill”). The bill is cosponsored by United States Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Ted Cruz (R-TX). The Bill provides that non-commercial species (i.e., a species not part of a national market for any commodity) found entirely […]

Ninth Circuit Invalidates USFWS Regulation Requiring State Agency Notice Prior to Filing a Petition for Listing of a Species under the ESA

On May 17, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit reversed a decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana regarding the USFWS’s regulatory requirement that state wildlife agencies receive 30-days’ notice of a petition to list a species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prior to filing a […]

U.S. Department of the Interior Announces Proposed Rule to Revoke Trump Rule on Migratory Bird Treaty Act Incidental Take–But What About the Court Rulings?

Under the Trump Administration, Solicitor’s Opinion M-37050 was issued on December 22, 2017, which stated that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) prohibited purposeful killing of migratory birds but did not prohibit the accidental killing of said birds.  (https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/interior-department-takes-steps-revoke-final-rule-migratory-bird-treaty-act-incidental.)  Subsequently, on January 7, 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a final rule […]

California Governor Signs the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2021: Grants CEQA Streamlining to Qualified Projects

On May 20, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the “Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2021,” also known as SB 7, which is chaptered as Sections 21178 to 21189.3 of the Public Resources Code.  (https://legiscan.com/CA/text/SB7/id/2401530SB.) SB 7 replaces a previous similar law, the “Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental […]

Biden Administration Identifies California Coastal Waters for Offshore Wind Projects

On May 25, 2021, the Biden Administration announced it has identified two areas along the central and northern coasts of California which the Administration plans to open for commercial scale offshore clean energy projects. This announcement is part of the Biden Administration’s larger and more ambitious goal of producing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy […]

CalGEM Releases Discussion Draft Rule to Phase Out Fracking by 2024

On May 21, 2021, the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) released a pre-rulemaking draft regulation that would prohibit CalGEM from approving applications for permits to conduct well stimulation treatments after January 1, 2024.  This rulemaking comes in response to Governor Newsom’s recent decision to unilaterally ban fracking.  Comments on the pre-rulemaking draft regulation are […]

Yet Another Trump-Era Environment-Related Regulation Rescinded by the Biden Administration

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), under the Biden Administration, rescinded yet another Trump-era environmental regulation on May 14, 2021. This time, the Biden Administration took aim at the EPA’s rule promulgated under the Trump Administration entitled, “Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process” (“Rule”), which prescribed […]

Third District Court of Appeal: Requiring Developer to Pay in advance for Traffic Impacts Unconstitutional

In the recent California Third District Court of Appeal decision, Alliance for Responsible Planning v. Taylor, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, Case No. 085712 (May 4, 2021), the Court determined that an initiative measure requiring new development projects to mitigate both the individual project’s traffic levels of service (“LOS”) impacts, and also the cumulative traffic LOS impacts […]

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