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Tag Archives: CEQA

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

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 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

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

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 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

California Governor’s Office Releases Updated CEQA Guidelines Proposal on SB 743 Implementation

By Chris Garrett and Ana De Santiago Ayon On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a new draft proposal for implementing Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg 2013) (SB 743), which would require traffic analysis to be based on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) instead of auto delay, commonly measured by Level … Continue Reading

Low Carbon Fuel Standard Challenged (Again) in California State Court

By Joshua Bledsoe and Max Friedman After a lengthy process of policy review and revision, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) re-adopted the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) on September 25, 2015. The LCFS is expected to contribute approximately 20% of the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions required by 2020 under Assembly Bill 32. … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Case Challenging 2010 Bay Area Air Quality Management District Air Quality Thresholds

By Chris Garrett, Shivaun Cooney and Shannon Lankenau On October 7, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Supreme Court Case No. S213478), a case which calls into question the “continued vitality” of a line of appellate cases holding that the “reverse … Continue Reading

DRECP Agencies Announce Phase I Updates

By Marc Campopiano, Joshua Bledsoe, Jennifer Roy, James Erselius Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (“DRECP”) is underway on the 9.8 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”). As discussed in our previous post, the four lead agencies responsible for the plan introduced a phased approach to … Continue Reading

California’s Strict New Health Risk Assessment Guidelines May Increase Regulatory Burden on Industrial Uses and Development Projects

By Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman On March 6, 2015, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) updated its Guidance Manual for Preparation of Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) for the purpose of better characterizing exposure risks to children from air toxics.  Using the new Guidance Manual, HRAs are expected to estimate risks that … Continue Reading

Climate Action Plan for San Diego County Struck Down Under CEQA by Court of Appeal for Failure to Comply with Requirements for Plan Level Documents and Failure to Adequately Mitigate Associated GHG Impacts

By Chris Garrett, Daniel Brunton, Taiga Takahashi, Andrew Yancey, and Natalie Rogers On October 29, 2014, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of California upheld the Sierra Club’s challenges to the County of San Diego’s (“County”) approval of a climate action plan (“CAP”) and related significance thresholds under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”).  In … Continue Reading

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan to Streamline Permitting for 20,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy

By Jennifer Roy, Marc Campopiano and Joshua T. Bledsoe On September 23, 2014, the California Energy Commission (“CEC”), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”), US Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), and US Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS”) for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan … Continue Reading

State Water Quality Control Board to Consider General Waste Discharge Requirements for Recycled Water Use on June 3, 2014

By Julia E. Stein and John C. Heintz On June 3, 2014, partially in response to lingering drought conditions throughout the state, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) will consider adopting a “general” waste discharge requirements (“WDR”) permit for the use of treated recycled water for non-potable uses such as agricultural irrigation, landscape irrigation, … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Confirms AB 32 Target Is Proper CEQA Significance Threshold

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Christopher W. Garrett The strongly worded opinion in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Case Number B245131)(CBD v. CDFW) by the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District has confirmed that analyzing a project’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) … Continue Reading

AB 32 Target Is Proper CEQA Significance Threshold, So Long As You Know Your Apples From Your Oranges

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Christopher W. Garrett In Friends of Oroville v. City of Oroville, 218 Cal. App. 4th 1352 (2013) (Friends of Oroville), the Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, recently confirmed that analyzing a project’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) via a threshold-of-significance derived from … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Lets Metro’s “Expo Line” Proceed, While Criticizing Its EIR and Setting New CEQA Baseline Standards

By Jim Arnone, DJ Moore, Winston Stromberg and Michele Leonelli On August 5, the California Supreme Court issued an important new California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) decision in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, et al. (Neighbors).[1]  In Neighbors, the Supreme Court established that, under limited circumstances, a lead agency can … Continue Reading

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Revisions to CEQA Procedures: Almost Final

By Paul Singarella, Shivaun Cooney, Andrea Hogan, and Adam Thomas On July 16, 2013, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed on first reading an ordinance that would amend the  California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) procedures set forth in Chapter 31 of the City’s Administrative Code.  A vote on final passage of the ordinance … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Signals Low Carbon Fuel Standard Will Remain in Effect Despite CEQA Violation

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Aron Potash California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), a core component of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction strategy, likely will survive a legal challenge and remain in effect despite an appellate court’s order indicating that the regulation was improperly adopted. The California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate … Continue Reading

The Council on Environmental Quality Releases Handbooks Intended to Streamline NEPA Reviews with NHPA and CEQA Reviews

By Janice Schneider, Andrea Hogan, and Adam Thomas On March 5, 2013, the Council on Environmental Quality released two handbooks designed to streamline the review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) — one focuses on coordination between NEPA and the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”), and the other on NEPA and the California … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Signals that Adoption of Low Carbon Fuel Standard May Have Violated CEQA

By Michael Dreibelbis, Eli Hopson, and Aron Potash A California appellate court signaled on February 26, 2013, that it might find that California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) was improperly adopted.  The court sent a request for supplemental briefing in POET, LLC et al. v. Goldstene, et al. indicating that the California Air Resources Board … Continue Reading
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