Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Environmental Regulation

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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of 2018, Latham & Watkins lawyers reviewed all 57 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cases, both published and unpublished, that came before California appellate courts.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

Committee on Climate Change Recommends UK Government Adopt 2050 Net-Zero Greenhouse Gases Budget

The Committee has recommended that the UK government take the lead in reaching net-zero, through social, financial, and policy change. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a statutory body that advises the UK government on carbon budgets, has recommended that the UK government should commit to cutting … Continue Reading

TCFD Issues Implementation Guide Incorporating SASB and CDSB Frameworks

The Guide aims to improve climate-related risk disclosure in organizations’ mainstream reports. By Paul A. Davies and Kristina S. Wyatt The Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has issued an Implementation Guide designed to foster improved reporting of climate-related information. The TCFD has enjoyed widespread support since its formation in 2015, yet relatively few … Continue Reading

Is China Relaxing Its Grip on “Iron Fist” Environmental Regulation?

Reports suggest that China’s promising focus on environmental regulation may be slowing amid an economic downturn. By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate Background At the 2014 National People’s Congress, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s rhetoric adopting an “iron fist” approach in a “war against pollution” represented a stunning volte-face from China’s relaxed environmental oversight and … Continue Reading

Unanimous US Supreme Court Decision Takes a Hard Look at ‘Critical Habitat’

The decision gives landowners and developers a powerful tool to protect their interests and raises the bar for future critical habitat designations in unoccupied habitat. By Janice Schneider, Nikki Buffa, and Brian McCall The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv., 586 U.S. (2018) has important implications for landowners … 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

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

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

Environment Agency Data Shows Spike in Enforcement Undertakings in England and Wales

The growth in the level of undertakings throughout 2018 tallies with a general increase in environmental enforcement. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Environment Agency has released data indicating that enforcement undertakings in England and Wales reached more than £2.2 million in 2018 — the highest-ever levels within a single year. The amounts … Continue Reading

Webcast – California’s 100% Zero Carbon Future: How SB 100 and EO B-55-18 Will Impact Businesses and Projects

Latham lawyers discuss the business implications of the new legislation. By Tommy P. Beaudreau, Marc T. Campopiano, Michael J. Gergen, Joshua T. Bledsoe, and Jennifer K. Roy Senate Bill 100, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 10, 2018, aims to raise California’s already ambitious renewable energy standards by 2030, with an ultimate … Continue Reading

European Parliament Looks to Broaden Plastics Ban

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Parliament voted in favor of a single-use plastics ban and added its own amendments. Plastics continue to face widespread regulatory attention in the EU. The European Commission (the Commission) released its Plastics Strategy in January 2018 and built on that effort with a proposed ban on … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Duplicative CEQA Claim

By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Jennifer K. Roy and Derek Galey CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] In an unpublished opinion issued September 14, 2018, Inland Oversight Comm. v. City of San Bernardino, Case No. E064836, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing the Inland Oversight … Continue Reading

New JRC Report Reviews Progress in Tackling Soil Contamination

The report supports the efforts of the EU’s Seventh Environment Action Programme. By Alexander Wilhelm According to a report prepared by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) — the European Commission’s science and knowledge service — countries across Europe are making progress on tackling soil contamination. The report[i] states that the management of contaminated sites in … Continue Reading

Courts Block Coal Ash Suits, Setting Up US Supreme Court Showdown

Fourth and Sixth Circuit decisions give power plant operators additional defenses to citizen suits pending potential Supreme Court review of “groundwater conduit” theory. By Joel C. Beauvais and Stacey L. VanBelleghem Over the past month, two US Courts of Appeals have rejected Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suits seeking to hold power companies liable for … Continue Reading

Viewpoints Video Examines California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

Harvard professor Robert Stavins joins Latham partner Bob Wyman to review key climate change mitigation policies. California’s climate change mitigation program is widely viewed as one of the most comprehensive of its kind — encompassing a cap-and-trade component and a series of complementary measures with specific performance targets for important sectors such as motor vehicles, … Continue Reading

Interior Department Solicits Comments on Natural Resource Damage Assessment Regulations

Officials seek to “improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness” of NRDAs — which could help expedite the resolution of claims. By Janice M. Schneider, Gary P. Gengel, Joel C. Beauvais, Kegan A. Brown, and Thomas C. Pearce On August 27, 2018, the US Department of the Interior (DOI) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking … Continue Reading
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