Environment, Land & Resources

Insights and commentary on environmental issues and developments impacting business in the US and across the world

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 (Petitioners’) appeal and affirmed the trial court’s decision that a beach restoration project undertaken by Broad…
The public event marks CARB’s next step to promulgate new, lower NOx standards for heavy-duty engines and vehicles. By: Arthur Foerster and Reed McCalib Background On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will hold a public workshop in Sacramento focusing on potential regulatory changes that would lower oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions for new, on-highway heavy-duty vehicles and engines. Members of the public may attend the workshop in person or via…
Gas-insulated switchgear owners face easy-to-miss, CARB-enforced emissions requirements. By JP Brisson, Aron Potash, R. Andrew Westgate, Kimberly D. Farbota, and Christopher C. Antonacci Since 2011, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has regulated sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions from gas-insulated switchgears (GIS). CARB’s SF6 Regulation applies to all entities that own GIS, including many entities that do not otherwise emit and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as wind farms, solar parks,…
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 these amendments last year, when the Natural Resources Agency began the rulemaking process under the Administrative Procedures…
Recent activity by the California Public Utilities Commission should cause public utility managers and counsel everywhere to take notice. By Charles C. Read The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has the biggest staff of any state utilities commission. It has issued fines and penalties in excess of US$1 billion; it has enforced the state’s renewable energy mandate; and it has even found ways to exert substantial regulatory control over disruptive innovators in transportation. Because of…
CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] By Marc T. Campopiano, Christopher W. Garrett, Nathaniel L. Glynn, and Natalie C. Rogers In a published opinion issued December 24, 2018, Sierra Club v. County of Fresno, Case No. S219783, the California Supreme Court determined that an environmental impact report (EIR) prepared and certified by Fresno County (County) for a development project failed to include certain information and analysis required by…
CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher H. Norton, Lucas I. Quass and Megan K. Ampe In a published opinion issued on October 23, 2018, Save Lafayette Trees v. City of Lafayette, Case No. A154168, the California Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s decision to grant a demurrer without leave to amend with respect to challenges to the substantive and procedural requirements of applicable planning and zoning laws,…
CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Kimberly D. Farbota, and Natalie C. Rogers In an unpublished opinion issued May 3, 2018, Endangered Habitats League, Inc. v. City of San Marcos, Case No. D072404, the California Court of Appeal determined that the Endangered Habitats League (Petitioner) substantially complied with procedural provisions of CEQA that require a petitioner to file a written request…
CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Lauren Glaser, and Natalie C. Rogers In an unpublished opinion issued June 19, 2018, Center for Biological Diversity v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. B284427, the California Court of Appeal rejected the Center for Biological Diversity’s (Petitioner) appeal and affirmed the trial court’s denial of a petition for writ of mandate to require the…
The Newhall Ranch project in Los Angeles County was highlighted for its proactive and innovative strategy to reduce carbon emissions. A strategy to gain approvals for the development of the Newhall Ranch community in Los Angeles County — built around the project’s net-zero impact on climate change — was recently featured in a report by the Financial Times that profiled proactive approaches to navigating environmental legal challenges. The featured article was part of the FT’s…