U.C. Davis School of Law’s California Environmental Law & Policy Center to host major conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the federal Endangered Species Act

This Friday, October 4th, the U.C. Davis School of Law’s California Environmental Law & Policy Center (CELPC) will convene a major conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the federal Endangered Species Act. “The ESA at 40: Examining Its Past and Exploring Its Future” will bring to King Hall a broad array of ESA experts, including …


New Chemical Regulations Go Live in California

Making Prevention Real?

Today, after years of discussions and drafts, California’s new Safer Consumer Product regulations take effect.  They create a comprehensive chemicals regulatory scheme having three steps: identification and prioritization of consumer products containing chemicals of greatest concern (“product-chemical combinations”); performance of “alternative analyses” by the manufacturers of those high priority product-chemical combinations; and selection of regulatory responses …


Environmental Impacts of Fracking: Three Layers of the Onion

This summer, The Emmett Center at UCLA jointly sponsored with the Union of Concerned Scientists a two-day workshop on unconventional oil and gas production technologies, aka fracking:  two days of expert working groups on science and risk assessment, law and regulation, and public information and engagement, followed by a public forum.  The public forum was …


Hydraulic Fracking in California: New Report Addresses Wastewater and Potential Water Impacts

Today, Berkeley Law released a new report on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in California, focusing on wastewater and potential water quality impacts. The report, Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing in California: A Wastewater and Water Quality Perspective, is an independent analysis produced by Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) through its new initiative, the Wheeler …


U.S. Bureau of Land Management Violated NEPA When Selling Oil and Gas Leases in California

On April 8, a federal magistrate judge issued the first major ruling in a California fracking lawsuit, finding that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to take the necessary “hard look” at the impact of hydraulic fracturing when it sold oil and gas leases in California. …


Of Mollusks and Men: The Wilderness Act and Drakes Bay Oyster Company

The debate over Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s continued operation within the Point Reyes National Seashore created two unlikely foes: environmentalists in favor of transitioning the land to wilderness, and supporters of local, organic food and a longstanding family business.  The San Francisco Chronicle aptly termed it a “legal and philosophical slugfest.” The door seems to …


Fracking Lawsuit Filed in California Against State Agency

Earthjustice filed a lawsuit two days ago in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of four environmental plaintiffs charging that the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) has failed to consider or evaluate the risks of fracking, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Plaintiffs — the …


Picking Up the PACE: FHFA Releases Proposed Property-Assessed Clean Energy Rule

It has been a long road for supporters of Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs.  With the recent release of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Proposed Rule on enterprise underwriting standards and mortgage assets affected by PACE programs, some residential PACE supporters may be reasonably fatigued.  But while the agency’s Proposed Rule maintains its position that …


The Delta 101: Of Levees, Canals & Whiskey

Nearly four out of five Californians do not know what the Delta is, according to a January 2012 poll.  That’s 78 percent of the population.  And 86 percent of southern Californians have never heard of it.  Yet, 25 million people and 3 million acres of farmland rely on the Delta for at least a portion …


Governor’s Conference on Extreme Climate Risks & California’s Future

Today I attended the California Governor’s Conference on Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future, held at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.  It was a lively event with speakers including Governor Brown, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the UN IPCC, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a host …