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Trump Cabinet Selections Signal Potential Changes to Environmental Regulations

By Chris Colyer As previously reported here, President-elect Donald Trump’s victory could have profound implications for federal environmental regulation. Although the scope of the intended regulatory changes remains uncertain, President-elect Trump’s recent Cabinet nominations—most notably Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy, and Ryan Zinke as Secretary […]

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In a Victory for Businesses and Developers, the United States Supreme Court Holds that Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Are Appealable

by Chris Colyer The United States Supreme Court ruled today that an approved jurisdictional determination under the Clean Water Act constitutes an immediately appealable agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 500 et seq. This decision, United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., rejects the United States Army Corps […]

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Is Coal Down For The Count

by J. Matthew Derstine Last week Peabody Energy announced that it filed bankruptcy.  Peabody is the nation’s largest coal company.  The filing by Peabody comes on the heels of the January 2016 bankruptcy filing by Arch Coal, the nation’s second largest coal producer.  Over 26 coal companies have gone bankrupt in the past several years […]

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Does a Project’s Impact on the “Character of the Community” Need to Be Evaluated under CEQA?

by Sean M. Sherlock Harry Rogers owned and operated a horse boarding facility called the Stock Farm, in the City of Poway, California – a city that proudly calls itself the “City in the Country.”  Rogers wanted to shut down the Stock Farm and subdivide his land into residential lots.  Not surprisingly, some of the […]

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How to avoid CEQA environmental review by ballot initiative

by Sean M. Sherlock The World Logistics Center is a massive project – 41 million square feet of logistics facilities located on 2,300 acres in Moreno Valley, California. The project has undergone environmental review for years, culminating in an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) that was approved by the Moreno Valley City Council on August 19, […]

Amended Federal Rules on Discovery to Impact Environmental Litigation

by Mitch Klein The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were recently amended. Amongst the changes, perhaps the most significant are the changes to discovery under Rule 26. Previously, parties were entitled to conduct discovery regarding anything that might be “reasonably calculated” to lead to relevant and admissible evidence. In practice, this led to some parties […]

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It’s the Effect of the Project on the Environment – Not the Effect of the Environment on the Project

by Sean Sherlock The California Supreme Court has resolved a longstanding uncertainty regarding the scope of environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). In 1995, a California Court of Appeal held that CEQA requires a lead agency to evaluate the effect of a project on the environment, but not the effect of the […]

California Water Law Update

By Katherine A. McKitterick and Sean M. Sherlock To address the worsening drought, on April 1, 2015, Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 (“Executive Order”), mandating a 25% reduction in potable urban water consumption. In response, the State Water Resources Control Board has passed emergency regulations that will directly affect water districts and users. And […]

Project Built at Variance With EIR Subject to Late CEQA Lawsuit

By:  Sean M. Sherlock Ordinarily the threat of a lawsuit under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) passes once the statute of limitation expires – in most cases 30 days after the filing of a Notice of Determination.  But a recent Court of Appeal decision illustrates how a project may remain subject to CEQA litigation […]

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