Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: California

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California Renews and Amends CEQA Litigation Streamlining for Certain Projects

SB 7 expands project eligibility, provides additional guidance regarding GHG emissions, and changes some procedural requirements. By Nikki Buffa and Brian McCall On May 20, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 7, the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2021. SB 7 reinstates, with amendments, the Environmental Leadership Development … Continue Reading

California Water Law: Legal Challenges of Water Supply Assessments

Project applicants and agencies alike should think carefully about developing robust analyses that demonstrate the adequacy of water supply. By Marc T. Campopiano, Diego Enrique Flores, and Lucas I. Quass Mark Twain is often credited with saying, “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.” This remains true in California, where drought conditions, climate … Continue Reading

TCI Program Established to Reduce Carbon Emissions From Transportation

The program will include a multi-jurisdictional cap-and-invest program and aims to address environmental justice and equity concerns. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Benjamin Einhouse, and Brian McCall On December 21, 2020, the Governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, as well as the Mayor of the District of Columbia, announced that their respective jurisdictions … Continue Reading

CEQA Case Report: 2020 Year in Review

Public agencies prevailed in 68% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Daniel P. Brunton, Nikki Buffa, Marc T. Campopiano, and Winston P. Stromberg Latham & Watkins is pleased to present its fourth annual CEQA Case Report. Throughout 2020 Latham lawyers reviewed each of the 34 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) appellate cases, whether … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments to Prop 65 Regulations Clarify and Update Proper Use of Short-Form Product Warnings

The proposed amendments seek to clarify when short-form product warnings may be used and create new requirements for information about harmful chemicals. By Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, and Kevin Homrighausen Update: On February 19, 2021, OEHHA announced that the public comment period has been extended until March 29, 2021. OEHHA also scheduled a … Continue Reading

CARB Steers Clean Miles Standard Toward Formal Rulemaking

The agency has further strengthened electrification targets and provided additional details on compliance options for Transportation Network Companies. By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Charles C. Read, and Jen Garlock The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing the Clean Miles Standard and Incentive Program (Clean Miles Standard), a first-of-its kind regulation designed to reduce greenhouse gas … Continue Reading

California Legislature Cannot Limit Judicial Review of Certain Power Projects

California appeals court decision increases the potential for CEQA challenges to power plant projects under the CEC’s jurisdiction. By Marc T. Campopiano, Charles C. Read, and Kevin A. Homrighausen In Communities for a Better Environment v. Energy Resources Conservation & Development Commission, the California First District Court of Appeal recently held that the State Legislature … Continue Reading

Webcast: Wildfire Implications on California Development

Developers and municipalities must now evaluate potential wildfire impacts from projects under recent amendments to CEQA, among other legislative changes. By Marc Campopiano and Shivaun Cooney Wildfires pose an increasingly serious threat to the public and environment in California with respect to air quality, climate change, and utility power shutoffs. The state’s string of historic … Continue Reading

California to Require 100% Zero-Emission Passenger Vehicle Sales by 2035

The Governor has issued an Executive Order with sweeping implications for the oil and gas industry and others. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Nikki Buffa, and Brian F. McCall On September 23, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-79-20, which will have sweeping implications for the oil and gas industry, automakers, low-carbon … Continue Reading

CEQA Case Report: 2019 Year in Review

Public agencies prevailed in 71% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Daniel P. Brunton, Marc T. Campopiano, Shivaun A. Cooney, Benjamin J. Hanelin, John C. Heintz, Maria Pilar Hoye, Aron Potash, and Winston P. Stromberg Latham & Watkins is pleased to present its third annual CEQA Case Report. Throughout 2019 Latham lawyers reviewed … Continue Reading

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
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