Monthly Archives: February 2013

New CEQA Bill – Cure or Band-Aid?

In response to a business community campaign calling for broad CEQA reform, California State Senator Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg released his highly anticipated CEQA “modernization” bill,  SB 731.  So far, the bill is more remarkable for what it lacks, than for what it contains:  A Co-author.  2012’s chief CEQA reform champion, Senator Michael … Continue Reading

Use of Project-Specific Significance Thresholds Does Not Violate CEQA

The first published California Environmental Quality Act case of 2013, Save Cuyama Valley v. County of Santa Barbara, strongly endorsed a lead agency’s authority to use its own, project-specific significance thresholds in an environmental impact report.  In addition, the court upheld the county’s project approval despite finding that one of the EIR’s environmental impact findings … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Whether City Council’s Adoption of Voter-Sponsored Initiative is Exempt from CEQA

The California Supreme Court announced on February 13 it has accepted review of Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, the recent decision (see our November 2 post) holding that a city council cannot choose to enact a voter-sponsored initiative without first complying with CEQA.  A previous published CEQA case had reached the … Continue Reading

New Forest Service Roadless Rule Upheld

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected environmentalists’ challenges to a new “roadless rule” governing federal lands in Idaho.  In Jayne v. Sherman, the court found the U.S. Forest Service followed an inclusive, thorough, and transparent process and that its approval of the new rule did not violate the Endangered Species Act or NEPA. … Continue Reading

Flow of Polluted Water from Lined to Unlined Section of River Doesn’t Constitute “Discharge of a Pollutant”

The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion that the flow of polluted water from a concrete channel to an unlined section of the same river constituted a “discharge of pollutants.”  Los Angeles County Flood Control Dist. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. Environmental organizations sued the Los Angeles County … Continue Reading