Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: California

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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

California Supreme Court Addresses Subsequent Review Under CEQA; Rejects Lishman “New Project” Test

By Christopher W. Garrett, David Amerikaner, Lucas I. Quass and Samantha Seikkula In an opinion by Justice Kruger, the Supreme Court of California unanimously reversed the Court of Appeal in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District, Cal. Supreme Court, Case No. S214061 (September 19, 2016). The Court … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Partially Upholds Air Quality Thresholds of Significance Following State Supreme Court Decision

By Marc Campopiano, Lucas I. Quass and Samantha Seikkula In a published decision, following the Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (2015) 62 Cal.4th 369, the First District Court of Appeal upheld California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) thresholds of significance adopted by the Bay Area Air … Continue Reading

California Proposes Draft Amendments to California Cap-and-Trade Program

By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Josh Bledsoe, Michael Dreibelbis and Andrew Westgate On July 12, 2016, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposed amendments to the California Cap-and-Trade Program (17 CCR 95800 et. seq.) for the first time since 2014. The amendments include major substantive changes to compliance requirements as well as new program initiatives such as post-2020 … Continue Reading

US Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Judgment Upholding Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims

By Christopher Garrett, Daniel Brunton and Taiga Takahashi On June 6, 2016, in Backcountry Against Dumps et al. v. Jewell et al., the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of California upholding federal approvals for the Tule Wind Project. The Court of … Continue Reading

California Energy Agencies Advance Renewable Transmission Line Planning

By Marc Campopiano, Jennifer Roy, and Francesca Bochner California energy agencies and key stakeholders have finished the first step of a statewide planning process to evaluate transmission needs in the state and the region. This process, called the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative 2.0 (RETI 2.0), will culminate in recommendations to the legislature on where to … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

By Christopher Garrett, Daniel Brunton and Shannon Lankenau On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that applies when a lead agency decides that changes or additions … Continue Reading
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