Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: California

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California Response to COVID-19: What Hotel Owners Need to Know

The Governor has issued an Executive Order that permits commandeering of hotels and other places of temporary residence for the state’s response to COVID-19. By Winston P. Stromberg, Lucas I. Quass and Cody M. Kermanian As part of California’s continued response to the COVID-19 outbreak, on March 12, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order … Continue Reading

Trends in Public Utility Regulation: 5 Developments at the California Public Utilities Commission

Wildfires, ride-sharing, community choice aggregation, and more bring increased regulatory risk. By Marc T. Campopiano, Charles C. Read, and Brian F. McCall The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has tremendous influence on public utility regulation in California and beyond. The CPUC has the biggest staff of any state utilities commission and has issued fines and … Continue Reading

New Amendments to Prop 65 Regulations Aim to Clarify Warning Responsibility

The new amendments seek to clarify the division of responsibility for providing warnings among upstream entities, intermediaries, and retailers. By: Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, and Kevin A. Homrighausen On April 1, 2020, new amendments to the implementation regulations of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65 Regulations) will … Continue Reading

Air District Targets Southern California Logistics Industry

A local air district is developing a rule that would require both existing and proposed warehouses to reduce trucking emissions or pay a mitigation fee. By Joshua T. Bledsoe The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD or District) is developing a so-called Indirect Source Rule (ISR) that would require Southern California warehouses to reduce … Continue Reading

CARB Updates Proposal to Amend SF6 Regulation: Stricter Requirements for California Electrical Equipment

CARB’s revised discussion draft removes a previously proposed de minimis exemption for owners of SF6 GIE. By Aron Potash and Christopher C. Antonacci On August 15, 2019, California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff published a revised discussion draft (Revised Draft) of potential changes to the Regulation for Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions from Gas Insulated Switchgear … Continue Reading

How the Friant Ranch Decision Continues to Impact CEQA Compliance

A new webcast reveals the latest trends and approaches to CEQA compliance as the development and environmental communities react to changing law. By Marc T. Campopiano, Christopher W. Garrett, and Jennifer K. Roy On July 24, 2019, Latham & Watkins’ Project Siting & Approvals Practice hosted a 60-minute webcast, “Friant Ranch: Impact of California Supreme … Continue Reading

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development

2018 Year in Review: Public agencies prevailed in 65% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Marc T. Campopiano, Christopher W. Garrett, and Lucinda Starrett Over the course of 2018, Latham & Watkins lawyers reviewed all 57 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cases, both published and unpublished, that came before California appellate courts. These … Continue Reading

Recent Prop 65 Amendments Prompt Claims Against Online Alcohol Retailers in California

Online alcohol sellers should ensure compliance with the new Prop 65 warning label requirements. By Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, and James A. Erselius On August 30, 2018, new regulations governing the implementation of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65) went into effect. The new regulations apply to … Continue Reading

CARB Amending SF6 Regulation: Stricter Requirements for California Electrical Equipment

California proposes phasing out the use of SF6 in GIE and further reducing allowable GHG emissions from such equipment. By Aron Potash and Kimberly D. Farbota California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff recently published a discussion draft (Draft Amendments) of potential changes to the current Regulation for Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions from Gas Insulated Switchgear … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Agrees Two Activities Constitute One CEQA Project

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel Brunton, James Erselius, and Derek Galey In a published decision issued June 12, 2018, County of Ventura v. City of Moorpark, Case No. B282466, the California Court of Appeal rejected part of the County of Ventura and the City of Fillmore’s … Continue Reading

GIS Owners in California Must Comply With SF6 Regulation

Gas-insulated switchgear owners face easy-to-miss, CARB-enforced emissions requirements. By JP Brisson, Aron Potash, R. Andrew Westgate, Kimberly D. Farbota, and Christopher C. Antonacci Since 2011, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has regulated sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions from gas-insulated switchgears (GIS). CARB’s SF6 Regulation applies to all entities that own GIS, including many entities that … Continue Reading

Amendments to CEQA Guidelines Now in Effect

California Natural Resources Agency adopts final amendments to CEQA Guidelines, providing additional clarifying revisions to GHG impacts, baseline, and deferral of mitigation amendments. By Marc Campopiano, Winston Stromberg, and Samantha Seikkula The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved a suite of amendments to the CEQA Guidelines, which are now in effect. Latham wrote about … Continue Reading

5 ‘Innovations’ From California Increase Public Utility Regulatory Risk

Recent activity by the California Public Utilities Commission should cause public utility managers and counsel everywhere to take notice. By Charles C. Read The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has the biggest staff of any state utilities commission. It has issued fines and penalties in excess of US$1 billion; it has enforced the state’s renewable … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies Standard of Review for EIRs and Requirements for Air Quality Impact Analyses

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] By Marc T. Campopiano, Christopher W. Garrett, Nathaniel L. Glynn, and Natalie C. Rogers In a published opinion issued December 24, 2018, Sierra Club v. County of Fresno, Case No. S219783, the California Supreme Court determined that an environmental impact report (EIR) prepared and certified by … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court: Which Conflicting Limitations Period Applies to CEQA Claim

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher H. Norton, Lucas I. Quass and Megan K. Ampe In a published opinion issued on October 23, 2018, Save Lafayette Trees v. City of Lafayette, Case No. A154168, the California Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s decision to grant a demurrer without leave … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Clarifies Procedural Requirement for Requesting CEQA Petition Hearing

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Kimberly D. Farbota, and Natalie C. Rogers In an unpublished opinion issued May 3, 2018, Endangered Habitats League, Inc. v. City of San Marcos, Case No. D072404, the California Court of Appeal determined that the Endangered Habitats League (Petitioner) … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Ruling on Area Plan Modifications

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Lauren Glaser, and Natalie C. Rogers In an unpublished opinion issued June 19, 2018, Center for Biological Diversity v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. B284427, the California Court of Appeal rejected the Center for Biological Diversity’s (Petitioner) appeal … Continue Reading

Cutting-Edge Environmental Advice Profiled by the Financial Times

The Newhall Ranch project in Los Angeles County was highlighted for its proactive and innovative strategy to reduce carbon emissions. A strategy to gain approvals for the development of the Newhall Ranch community in Los Angeles County — built around the project’s net-zero impact on climate change — was recently featured in a report by … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Dismisses Time-Barred Challenge to Development Phase

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, James A. Erselius, and Christopher Adam Martinez In an unpublished opinion issued October 22, 2018, Tennis Club Preservation Society v. City of Palm Springs, Case No. E068896, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing the … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Noise Analysis in Negative Declaration

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Megan K. Ampe, James A. Erselius In a published opinion issued May 1, 2018, Jensen v. City of Santa Rosa, Case. No. SCV255347, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding the City of Santa Rosa’s (City’s) negative declaration … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Determines Threshold and Scope for EIR Requirement

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, James A. Erselius, and Robert C. Hull In an unpublished opinion issued May 31, 2018, Save Adelaida v. County of San Luis Obispo, Case No. B279285, the California Court of Appeal partially affirmed the trial court’s decision and held … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Determines When a Second Challenge Meets Res Judicata

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Lucas I. Quass, Peter J. Gutierrez, and Roopika Subramanian In a partially published opinion issued September 18, 2018, Atwell v. City of Rohnert Park, Case No. SCV256891, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment that the petition for writ of mandate challenging … Continue Reading
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