Monthly Archives: October 2012

Battle on the Beach—Sunset Beach Has No Right to Vote on Huntington Beach Taxes Before Being Annexed

Faced with the prospect of having to pay special property taxes after annexation by Huntington Beach, residents of unincorporated Sunset Beach sued to block annexation, or to require a vote by the Sunset Beach electorate on whether they should have to pay the taxes after annexation. In Citizens Association of Sunset Beach v. Orange County … Continue Reading

Court Overturns Biological Opinion That Relied On Unenforceable Conservation Measures

The Ninth Circuit has overturned a Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the Ruby Pipeline Project, a proposed natural gas pipeline that would extend nearly 700 miles from Wyoming to Oregon, encompassing almost 2,300 acres of federal land and crossing 209 rivers and streams.  The Biological Opinion relied on a … Continue Reading

Under CEQA Non-Prejudicial Errors Do Not Invalidate an EIR.

The County of Siskiyou certified an Environmental Impact Report for a project to expand an existing manufacturing facility to accommodate a cogeneration power plant housed on one acre of a 300-acre site.  Environmental groups claimed the EIR violated CEQA by failing to include adequate project alternatives and failing to fully disclose, analyze, and mitigate the … Continue Reading

No Exception to the Exemption — Installation of Small Wireless Telecom Equipment on Existing Utility Poles Throughout City is Exempt from CEQA

After obtaining the necessary permit, T-Mobile installed wireless equipment on an existing utility pole in a residential neighborhood in San Francisco.  The installation was part of a larger project to install similar equipment on existing utility poles scattered throughout the city.  Residents living nearby sought to have the city’s decision to issue the permit overturned, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Emphasizes Deference to Federal Agencies under NEPA

In two recent cases involving challenges to U.S. Forest Service projects under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Ninth Circuit emphasized that courts must accord substantial deference to the environmental analysis conducted by federal agencies.  Earth Island Institute v. U.S. Forest Service (9th Cir. Sept. 20, 2012), and Native Ecosystems Council v. Weldon (9th Cir. … Continue Reading