California Environmental Law

Insight and Information for the Environmental & Natural Resource Industry

The Alameda Superior Court recently declared portions of the Warren-Alquist Act unconstitutional in Communities for a Better Environment v. Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (CBE v. Energy Commission).  The Court found that California Public Resources Code section 25531(a) and a portion of section 25531(b) ― provisions of the Warren-Alquist Act concerning judicial review ― void and enforceable.  The Warren-Alquist Act governs the Energy Commission and grants the Commission exclusive jurisdiction over the permitting of…
The 2019-2020 California Legislative Session has officially reached its first deadline. February 22, 2019 marked the deadline by which bills could be introduced for the first half of the Session. Lawmakers will begin Spring Recess April 12 and reconvene April 22. The last day for bills to be passed out of the house of origin is May 31, 2019. Below is a list of some of the key bills Stoel Rives’ Oil & Gas Team…
On November 6, 2018, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted an amendment to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities (General Permit). The General Permit Amendment addresses the implementation of previously-adopted Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), the new federal Sufficiently Sensitive Methods Rule, and statewide Compliance Options. These changes take effect on July 1, 2020.…
On September 24, 2018, in two separate decisions, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that coal ash wastewater that enters groundwater and eventually travels to navigable waters through the groundwater is not regulated under the Clean Water Act (“CWA,” or the “Act”).  In these decisions, the Sixth Circuit expressly disagrees with recent holdings from the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, paving the way for potential Supreme Court review. The CWA requires a permit for discharge…
Environmental groups have obtained a favorable Clean Water Act (“CWA”) ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, which can be viewed as an expansion of jurisdiction for stormwater permitting for industrial sources.  In the Order, issued on August 9, 2018, Judge Stephen V. Wilson held that if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) determines that stormwater discharges “cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards,” then regulators must…
 On July 27, 2018 the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) issued two notices of proposed rulemaking action applicable to oil and gas operations in the state.  DOGGR released updated underground injection control (“UIC”) regulations, as well as proposed regulations for idle well testing and management. UIC Regulations DOGGR supervises the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging and abandonment of onshore and offshore oil, gas, and geothermal wells.  Wells that inject…
Stoel Rives Summer Associate Carly Moran co-authored this post. Ground Zero: The Silicon Valley In an attempt to cleanup airborne toxins contaminating a large area of Mountain View, California’s North Bayshore neighborhood, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has presented plans to update their existing cleanup strategy.  Specifically, the EPA plans to revamp their cleanup strategy for the Teledyne/Spectra Physics Superfund site, which extends  into the western side of North Bayshore.…
On May 22, 2018, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response (“OSPR”), issued a 15-Day Notice of Modifications to Text of Proposed Regulations and Addition of Documents Relied Upon (“Notice”).  The Notice extends the comment period for the following proposed rulemakings, in response to comments received during the initial 45-day comment period: General Definitions & Abbreviations (Cal. Code Regs. tit. 14, § 790); Certificates of Financial Responsibility (§§ 791…
This post was written by Melissa Jones and Tiffanie de la Riva for Stoel Rives’ Alcoholic Beverages Law blog. The California Court of Appeal recently handed a victory to winemakers, ruling that a specific Proposition 65 (“Prop. 65”) warning is not required regarding the presence of inorganic arsenic.  The lawsuit, Charles et al. v. Sutter Home Winery et al., was originally filed in 2015 and alleged that wines made by over 15 named defendants exposed…
Our latest post provides updates on environmental and legal developments in Los Angeles and adjacent counties, as well as the Southern San Joaquin Valley.  We welcome your comments and contributions. Legislation and Ordinances   Implementation of AB 617, CARB’s Community Air Protection Program. AB 617 requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) by October 1, 2018 to identify the highest priority communities affected by a high cumulative air emissions exposure burden (“impacted communities”); to establish the…