CARB doubles down on LCFS Program and liquid transportation fuels.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Jennifer Garlock

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update (Draft Scoping Plan) for public review and comment. Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), requires CARB to develop and update every five years a scoping plan that describes the approach California will take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Senate Bill (SB) 32 subsequently strengthened the state’s GHG emissions reductions target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Our first post in this series discusses CARB’s Proposed Scenario to achieve the state’s GHG targets, which adopts a carbon neutrality target for 2045. Our second post explores how the Cap-and-Trade Program features in the Draft Scoping Plan. In this third post, we examine how California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program factors into the state’s GHG reduction goals and how the LCFS Program may be amended in the near future. The Draft Scoping Plan states that CARB will initiate a rulemaking on the LCFS to ensure it continues to support low-carbon fuels that will displace petroleum fuels.[1]

CARB opts to stay the course on Cap-and-Trade Program.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Michael Dreibelbis, and Alicia Robinson 

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public review and comment. Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), required CARB to develop a scoping plan, to be updated at least once every five years, that describes the approach California will take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  In developing the 2022 Draft Scoping Plan Update (Draft Scoping Plan), CARB evaluated four scenarios to identify the most viable path to achieve the state’s 2030 interim GHG reduction and GHG neutrality targets. Our first post on this topic discusses CARB’s ultimate selection of the third scenario, which adopts a carbon neutrality target for 2045 instead of 2035, as the best among the four. In this second post, we discuss how the Cap-and-Trade Program (the Program) features in the Draft Scoping Plan.

The Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update takes an all-of-the-above approach to decarbonize California.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Brian McCall

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public review and comment. Originally, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 required CARB to develop a scoping plan, to be updated every five years, that describes the approach California will take to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Subsequently, Senate Bill 32 strengthened the state’s GHG emissions reductions target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and former Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-55-18 established a second statewide goal to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2045. Recognizing the need to achieve GHG emissions reductions more quickly, in July 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom directed CARB to accelerate efforts to achieve the state’s climate stabilization and GHG reduction goals, including to “identify a pathway for achieving carbon neutrality a full decade earlier than the existing target of 2045.” The Draft Scoping Plan Update identifies CARB’s proposed path for how California can reach both its interim goal of reducing GHGs by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and its ultimate goal of carbon neutrality by 2045 along with pathways that would achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

We analyze the key CEQA cases from 2021 and their effects on development in California this year and beyond.

By Marc Campopiano, Jennifer Roy, Winston Stromberg, Daniel Brunton, and Natalie Rogers

Every year, we publish a comprehensive summary of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) judicial opinions and provide analysis of the key trends affecting development in California.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Court of Appeal issued 52 published and unpublished CEQA opinions last year, which

If adopted, the Senate bill would require large US companies doing business in California to report Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions as of January 2024.

By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Marc T. Campopiano, Jennifer K. Roy, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Julie Miles, and Alicia Robinson

The California Legislature is considering a bill to impose corporate sustainability reporting requirements that would substantially expand corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting obligations and, according to the bill’s co-author, impact “the vast majority of the country’s largest corporations, who almost all conduct business in California.” If adopted, Senate Bill 260 (SB 260) would establish a first-of-its-kind mandatory GHG emissions reporting framework requiring regulated entities to report all emissions “scopes,” including Scope 3 emissions (discussed below). The bill could also have impact well beyond California given the state’s ambitious climate policies and the number of large companies that do business in California.

The proposal, which aims to clarify when short-form warnings should be used, would also create new requirements for information about harmful chemicals.

By Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, and Kevin Homrighausen

This article has been updated to reflect OEHHA’s decision to extend the public comment period on the Proposed Amendments from January 14, 2022 to January 21, 2022.

On December 13, 2021, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published a notice of modified text to its proposed short-form warning regulations of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65 or Prop 65). As Latham previously reported, OEHHA had initially proposed amendments to its short-form warning regulations on January 8, 2021, which initiated a public comment period that ran through March 29, 2021. The December 13, 2021 proposed regulatory text (Proposed Amendments) respond to public comments received during the public comment period. A new public comment period for the Proposed Amendments will run from December 17, 2021 to January 21, 2022.

Limited water supply, restrictions on use, and higher costs may be in store for next year if the state’s drought conditions persist.

By Michael G. Romey, Cody M. Kermanian, and Lucas I. Quass

This year has been critically dry and hot for California, resulting in déjà vu as the federal and state governments reinstituted drought conservation measures not seen since former California Governor Jerry Brown declared an end to the last drought in 2017. This blog post summarizes the key federal and state actions that have been taken to address California’s drought over the past year, along with potential implications for 2022.

The State and eNGOs seek to defend an emissions rule that trucking and airline trade groups are challenging in federal court.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Jennifer Garlock

On October 13, 2021, the State of California, on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General and the California Air Resources Board (CARB, and together, the State), filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD or the District) adoption of Rule 2305. Rule 2305 is the Warehouse Indirect Source Rule (ISR) – Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) Program. Plaintiff, the California Trucking Association (CTA), filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Central District of California on August 5, 2021, to which the District filed an answer on October 7, 2021.[i] In addition to the State, Airlines for America filed a motion to intervene as a proposed plaintiff, while a group of environmental NGOs seek to intervene as proposed defendants. Each proposed intervenor is discussed further below.

Developers and municipalities must continue to evaluate potential wildfire impacts on projects under CEQA and consider recent legislative changes.

By Marc T. Campopiano and Shivaun A. Cooney

Wildfires have posed increasing risks in recent years to the public and environment in California. The importance of understanding how wildfires may impact new development and infrastructure is more relevant than ever. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), developers and agencies are prompted to evaluate wildfire impacts.

Latham & Watkins recently hosted

A local air district approved a rule requiring warehouses to adopt clean technologies or pay a mitigation fee.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Jennifer Garlock

At a contentious board hearing on May 7, 2021, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) approved a first-in-the-nation rule to regulate trucking emissions from warehouses by a 9-4 vote. Rule 2305, the Warehouse Indirect Source Rule (ISR), establishes the Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) Program to reduce emissions associated with warehouse activity. The WAIRE Program essentially requires warehouse operators to take actions to electrify warehouse activities and the trucks that visit warehouses in order to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions. As previewed in a 2019 Latham blog post, despite the warehouse sector’s limited control over the types of trucks servicing its facilities (warehouses generally do not own or operate trucking fleets), the ISR imposes obligations on warehouses to indirectly reduce trucking emissions. The WAIRE Program applies to warehouses with more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space in a single building, and will phase in over three years based on warehouse size, with the largest warehouses (i.e., more than 250,000 square feet) having the earliest compliance period.