Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: California

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California Court of Appeal Upholds CEQA Exemption for Wireless Communications Facility

By Daniel P. Brunton, Lucas I. Quass, and Stephanie L. Postal CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development [i] In a published opinion issued March 15, 2018, Don’t Cell Our Parks v. City of San Diego, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment and upheld the City of San Diego’s … Continue Reading

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development

By James Arnone, Lucinda Starrett, Marc Campopiano, and Christopher Garrett California higher courts rule in favor of public agencies on small majority of environmental impact report cases. Over the course of 2017, Latham lawyers reviewed all 46 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cases, both published and unpublished, that came before California appellate courts. These cases covered a … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Finds EIR’s Air Quality Analysis Deficient

By Christopher Garrett, James Erselius, and Samantha Seikkula CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[1] In a partially published opinion[2] issued January 12, 2018, City of Long Beach v. City of Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court’s judgment requiring the City of … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Approves Environmental Analysis for Oil Refinery Propane Recovery Project

By Winston P. Stromberg, Lucas I. Quass, and Derek Galey Rodeo Citzens Ass’n v. County of Contra Costa, California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Three, Case No. A151184 (March 20, 2018). CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] In a published opinion issued March 20, 2018, Rodeo Citizens v. County of … Continue Reading

Carbon Markets Must Balance Stability and Adaptability When Implementing Emissions Trading Systems

As China begins to implement its emissions trading system, the country may look around the globe for regulatory guidance. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China established its national emissions trading system (ETS) as a key component of the plan to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. The country’s participation in the … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Partial Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Successful CEQA Litigant

By Christopher W. Garrett, Natalie C. Rogers, and Kimberly D. Farbota CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[1] In a published opinion issued January 12, 2018, Heron Bay Homeowners Assn. v. City of San Leandro, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s partial grant of Heron Bay Homeowners Association’s request for … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal: Challenges to Water Supply Assessments Appropriate After EIR Certification

By Chris Garrett, Diego Flores, Lucas Quass and Samantha Seikkula CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] In an unpublished opinion issued March 26, 2018, Golden Door Properties, LLC v. Vallecitos Water District, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment sustaining the Vallecitos Water District’s (District’s) demurrer from Golden Door, … Continue Reading

CEQA Developments: How New Proposed Regulations and Streamlined Legislation Will Impact California Projects

Webcast addresses recent developments involving the California Environment Quality Act. By Marc Campopiano, Chris Garrett, and Winston Stromberg The Project Siting & Approvals Practice hosted a 60-minute webcast on February 21, “CEQA Developments: How New Proposed Regulations and Streamlined Legislation Will Impact California Projects.” Speakers provided an overview of the proposed updates to the California … Continue Reading

Federal Judge Enjoins California’s Proposition 65 Cancer Warning for Glyphosate As “Misleading”

By Richard P. Bress, Philip J. Perry, Andrew D. Prins, Ryan Baasch and Alexandra Shechtel On February 26, for the first time ever, a federal district court has enjoined a California Proposition 65 warning requirement on First Amendment grounds. Under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 — colloquially known as “Proposition … Continue Reading

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments Proceed Through Rulemaking Process

Proposed changes include shifting the methodology for studying projects’ potential traffic impacts and clarifying the terms for deferred mitigation measures. By Marc Campopiano, Winston Stromberg, and Samantha Seikkula The California Natural Resources Agency (the Agency) has given notice that it intends to revise many of the regulations implementing the California Environmental Quality Act (the CEQA … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds City’s General Plan Update Against CEQA Challenge

By Christopher Garrett, Lucas Quass, Natalie Rogers, and Derek Galey CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] In an unpublished opinion issued January 4, 2018, Visalia Retail v. City of Visalia, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment and upheld the City of Visalia’s (the City) final environmental impact report … Continue Reading

California Continues to Drive Toward Lower NOx Standards for Heavy-Duty Diesels

By Arthur Foerster and Jamie Friedland On January 12, 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will conduct a public workshop regarding CARB staff’s potential amendments to California’s heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) emission warranty requirements. According to CARB staff, the workshop will focus on potential changes to Title 13, California Code of Regulations, Section 2036, and … Continue Reading

Land Use Sector and CEQA Projects Targeted for Greenhouse Gas Reductions in Proposed Scoping Plan Update

By Marc Campopiano and Shannon Cheng A proposed Scoping Plan Update released by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) targets the land use sector and development projects for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. The proposed update was spurred by the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 32 and Assembly Bill (AB) 398, which codified California’s goal of reducing … Continue Reading

California’s Supreme Court Denies ARB Petition To Review LCFS Case

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kimberly Farbota In a previous post, we described how potential delays in the resolution of the case commonly known as POET I could create uncertainty regarding the future of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). On August 23, 2017, the Supreme Court of California issued an order: (1) denying California … Continue Reading

Uncertainty Looms with Delays to Resolution of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program Challenges

By Joshua Bledsoe and Kimberly Farbota Two recent developments in the interrelated legal challenges commonly known as POET I and POET II may create additional uncertainty for the future of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program (LCFS). Earlier this year, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District (Court of Appeal) issued two … Continue Reading

Court Reissues LCFS Opinion Per ARB Petition For Reconsideration

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Max Friedman As discussed in a previous post, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District (Court of Appeal) ruled on April 10, 2017 that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) had failed to properly follow a writ of peremptory mandate (the Writ) requiring ARB to remedy violations … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments to Cap-and-Trade Extension Bill Could Undermine Program

By Bob Wyman, JP Brisson, Joshua Bledsoe, Andrew Westgate, and Brittany Dryer On April 18, 2017, California Assembly Members Garcia, Holden, and Garcia proposed amendments to Assembly Bill No. 378 (AB 378) that are intended to extend but significantly reshape California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.[1] This post briefly summarizes the backdrop against which AB 378 has been … Continue Reading

California Court Rules Against Air Resources Board over LCFS but Preserves 2017 Status Quo

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Max Friedman In two recent posts, we discussed how California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) had been thrown into a state of potential upheaval by two interrelated legal challenges commonly known as POET I and POET II, including a recent oral argument before the California Court of Appeal for the … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeals Upholds Cap-and-Trade Auctions

By Michael Romey, J.P. Brisson, Michael Dreibelbis and Andrew Westgate Yesterday, the Court of Appeals for California’s Third Appellate District issued its decision in California Chamber of Commerce, et al., vs. State Air Resources Board, et al., upholding the district court’s decision and allowing the cap-and-trade system to remain in place. The suit was filed by … Continue Reading

California State Court Poised to Destabilize Low Carbon Fuel Standard

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Max Friedman Big changes appear to be imminent for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). As discussed in greater detail in our recent post, the LCFS currently is the subject of two interrelated legal challenges commonly known as POET I and POET II. Here we provide an update on recent proceedings before … Continue Reading

CAISO Expects It May Need to Curtail Up to 8,000 MW This Spring and Up to 13,000 MW By 2024, Which Could Test Curtailment Risk Allocation Provisions in Renewable PPAs

By Michael Gergen, Tyler Brown, David Pettit and Christopher Randall At the most recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) held on February 16, 2017, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the CAISO reported that because of the “bountiful hydro conditions expected this year and significant additional … Continue Reading

Twin Challenges to LCFS Advance in California Courts, With Potential Implications for State’s Overall Climate Stabilization Strategy

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Max Friedman Two related cases, advancing in parallel, have the potential to upend California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), whether via full suspension of the LCFS or carving out diesel fuels from the deficit and crediting regime.[1] Both cases involve challenges by POET, LLC (POET), a South Dakota-based ethanol producer, … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board Approves Second Extension to Malibu Septic Prohibition Deadlines

By John Heintz, Lucas Quass, and Steven Mach On February 2, 2017, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (the Regional Board) approved a Revised Memorandum of Understanding (the 2017 MOU) between the City of Malibu (the City), the Regional Board, and the State Water Resources Control Board (the State Board) to extend the … Continue Reading

BLM Moves Forward with Phase I of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

By Marc Campopiano, Josh Bledsoe, Jennifer Roy, and James Erselius Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) has now been approved, paving the way for streamlined permitting and environmental review of qualified renewable energy projects on Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-administered lands in the Mojave and Colorado/Sonoran desert regions of Southern California. … Continue Reading
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