California

Comprehensive New State Survey Shows California Environmental Quality Act Rarely Impedes New Projects

Study covered all state-led projects over a 5-year period

A constant complaint from many business leaders and their allies is the high cost of complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the state’s signature environmental law which requires environmental review for major new projects. But a new survey from the State of California shows that the law rarely affects most projects where the […]

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Wetlands, WOTUS and California

California Regulators Can and Should Adopt Strong State Wetlands Protection Rules

For the past year, an overriding concern of many Californians has been whether and how state legislators and regulators can fill the environmental law and policy gap left by a Trump Administration that is in the process of reversing a host of Obama-era environmental rules and that has otherwise largely abandoned the field of environmental […]

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Pineapples and Preparing for the Future at COP23

Guest post by Eric Sezgen, UCLA Law student

As Alex’s previous blogpost states, there was a sense of urgency at this COP. Urgency had observable consequences all around the conference and was not only embraced but enhanced by Fiji’s presidency. You could see this even in the COP’s logo. Whereas the COP logo is usually a sleek and trendy design to look good […]

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Of Dreamliners and Drinking Water

pipes

Michael Kiparsky and Christian Binz

As we have written previously, potable water reuse (recycling water to augment water supplies) is a promising way to diversify urban water supply portfolios. Direct potable water reuse (DPR), the injection of highly purified wastewater into drinking water systems, is among the newest, and most controversial, methods for augmenting water supplies. DPR is garnering increasing […]

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Environmental Law Professors File Amicus Brief in Defense of Technology-Forcing in the California Supreme Court

Professors oppose efforts to limit the Legislature’s authority to enact laws protecting the public health and safety of CA residents

My colleague Sean Hecht and I, along with eleven other California environmental law professors, filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court this week in support of the California Legislature’s authority to enact technology-forcing statutes. The underlying case, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., et al. v. State of California,  involves a gun control law […]

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A Sense of Urgency at COP 23

Guest post by Alexandra Gay, UCLA Law student

Christiana Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC who is widely credited with the success of COP 21 in Paris in 2015, launched a global initiative earlier this year called Mission 2020. The overall goal of the initiative is to ensure that global CO2 emissions reach a “turning point” by 2020 and begin to […]

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Dispatch from the Bonn UN Climate Conference

So what’s up with the Paris Agreement now that the U.S. has announced its intent to withdraw? The main annual UN conference on climate change is underway in Bonn, Germany, and UCLA Law is on the ground here. We’ll be reporting this week on what we see and hear. This conference, which serves as the […]

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San Francisco Tests Supreme Court’s “Hole” In Prop 13 & 218 Restrictions On Local Tax Increases

Ambiguity in California Cannabis Coalition vs. City of Upland creates an opening for simple majority approvals

As I blogged in August, the California Supreme Court potentially “ripped a huge hole” in Prop 13 and 218, the two state constitutional initiatives that created a two-thirds majority requirement on local tax measures. In California Cannabis Coalition vs. City of Upland, the court held that “general taxes” initiated by citizens is not bound by […]

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California’s AB 313–A Solution in Search of a Problem

Governor Brown Should Veto Ill-Conceived Bill That Would Undermine State Water Board’s Enforcement Authority

Overall, the California Legislature had a most productive year when it comes to environmental issues.  It extended until 2030 the cap-and-trade program that’s a centerpiece of the state’s ongoing efforts to reduce California’s aggregate greenhouse gas emissions.  It passed the mis-named “gas tax” legislation, which not only provides funding to rebuild California’s once-proud but now […]

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Is CEQA the problem?

Developing a better understanding of how land-use law and housing production interact in California

On Friday, the Governor signed a package of housing bills intended to help address the soaring costs of housing in many metro areas in California. Follow-up coverage of that bill package has (rightly) indicated that those bills are a drop in the bucket in terms of addressing California’s housing crisis. One theme that emerges in […]

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