CEQA

The Tricky Problem of Cumulative Exposures

A new UCLA report finds reason to be concerned about cumulative risk, and notes that under CA law regulators are required to act

We are all exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of chemicals through consumer products, air pollution, drinking water, and occupational exposures, just to name a few.  Yet chemicals and pollutants are largely assessed and regulated individually.  Increasingly, environmental health professionals have been attempting to grapple with assessing the risk of exposure to multiple chemicals. New …

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California Supreme Court Hands Air District, Environmentalists Qualified Win

Justices’ Unanimous Opinion Addresses Key “Scope of CEQA” Issue

In a closely-watched case, the California Supreme Court today issued a unanimous decision on the scope of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California’s most important and heavily-litigated environmental statute.  That decision is unlikely to fully satisfy either side in the litigation, though over the long-term it would seem to favor local regulators and their …

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Anti-CEQA Lobbyists Turn to Empirical Analysis, But Are Their Conclusions Sound?

Influential Attacks on California’s Environmental Impact Law Aren’t Supported By the Data

Every August, as the California legislative session comes to a head, lobbyists attempt to gain support for dramatically scaling back California’s landmark environmental law, CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act).  This year was no exception.  Last month, the law firm Holland and Knight, which has been a leading force on this issue, issued a new …

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The Coal Export Wars Reach Oakland

In seeking an alternative route to Asian markets, coal’s path from Utah to China via Oakland hits a snag

Expanded west coast infrastructure to support the export of western U.S. coal to Asian markets has long been part of the business plans for some of the nation’s largest coal producers. However, attempts by Powder River Basin coal interests to construct or expand coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon in recent years have been …

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CA Supreme Court Rejects California State University’s CEQA Dodge–Again

Justices Hold CSU Can’t Pass the Buck re: Environmental Mitigation Measures Tied to Campus Expansion

In an important decision issued last week, the California Supreme Court forcefully rejected the California State University’s efforts to avoid paying for mitigation measures needed to offset the adverse environmental impacts associated with CSU’s ambitious expansion plans.  That’s welcome if predictable news from a court that has in recent years been protective of the state’s bedrock …

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CEQA and the Drought

Republicans are using the drought as an argument for CEQA exemptions

One thing that the deep drought in California has prompted is more discussion of water storage projects like dams. Part of that discussion has been arguments that environmental review pursuant to CEQA should be “streamlined” for water storage projects. A bill to streamline environmental review for two dam projects died in the Assembly this year. …

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California Supreme Court to Decide Major CEQA, Climate Change Case

Justices’ Latest Grant of Review Continues Supreme Court’s Focus on Environmental Law

To paraphrase former President Ronald Reagan, there they go again. The California Supreme Court on Wednesday granted review in an important case at the intersection of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and one of the state’s most important climate change laws.  The case, Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments, is the …

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The California Supreme Court’s Unprecedented Focus on Environmental Law

California’s Highest Court Has Far More Environmental Cases Pending Than Ever Before in Its History

The California Supreme Court, perhaps the most influential state supreme court in the nation, has of late become unusually and intensely focused on environmental law.  More than ever before in its history, the California Supreme Court currently has before it a large docket of environmental cases that, individually and collectively, promise to alter the legal …

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California Finally Breaks Ground On High Speed Rail Today

Six years and many lawsuits and political compromises after voters approved it

It’s been over six years since California voters approved a bond measure to fund a two-hour-and-forty-minute Los Angeles to San Francisco high speed rail system. Today groundbreaking finally takes place in Fresno. In the intervening six years, lawsuits and political compromises have delayed the system and likely made the timetables promised to voters impossible to …

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San Diego Loses Appeal On Its Weak Transportation Plan

Today ‘s ruling confirms that the plan failed under CEQA to consider greenhouse gas emissions to 2050

Back in 2011, the San Diego Association of Governments issued a really bad regional transportation plan.  These plans must prioritize transportation investments across the metropolitan region for the coming decades and are the basis for receiving state and federal infrastructure dollars.  And while most regional transportation plans are usually pretty bad (i.e. favoring highway expansion …

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