California Environmental Quality Act
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A state appellate court has struck down a California Environmental Quality Act exemption for an air district rule permitting new power plants to offset emissions by paving roads. The court found that the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District did not have adequate evidence to support its finding that the rule could not have a negative impact on the environment.
A developer is not entitled to reimbursement or damages from a consultant hired by a local government to complete an environmental impact report, the First District Court of Appeal has ruled. Even when the consultant fails to complete an EIR in a timely manner, the consultant owes no contractual duty to the developer that paid for the consultant, the court concluded.
The Natural Resources Agency has altered proposed amendments to the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines. The changes appear to shift the focus of environmental analysis away from a project’s effects on automobile traffic and toward impact on the overall transportation system.
A city may determine that project alternatives once considered potentially feasible for California Environmental Quality Act analysis are infeasible as actual projects, the Sixth District Court of Appeal has ruled.
The City of Los Angeles had no obligation under the California Environmental Quality Act to complete an environmental impact report for a project that it had rejected, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled.
The court dismissed all arguments put forward by the developer of the 555-acre Las Lomas project at the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 14. “[I]f an agency at any time decides not to proceed with a project,” the court said, “CEQA is inapplicable from that time forward.”
Forced into negotiations by the state Legislature, the City of Walnut has dropped its lawsuit contesting the adequacy of an environmental impact report for a proposed professional football stadium and 3 million-square-foot entertainment complex in the neighboring City of Industry.
A city may determine that a project has no significant effects on energy consumption if it exceeds the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards, the Third District Court of Appeal has ruled. The ruling appears to be the first on an environmental impact report’s analysis of how a project might affect energy use, an area of the California Environmental Quality Act receiving increased attention because of concerns about climate change.
A project that had become a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lightning rod has apparently died. Nestlé Waters North America notified the McCloud Community Services District that it is dropping plans to convert a closed lumber mill in Siskiyou County into a water-bottling plant because it is building the facility in Sacramento instead.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has successfully defended against a City of Long Beach lawsuit that challenged numerous aspects of a new high school’s environmental impact report.
Tehama County did not have to disclose publicly advice it received from an outside law firm on how to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act while dealing with a controversial development project, the Third District Court of Appeal has ruled. The unanimous three-judge panel ruled that the four documents were protected by attorney-client privilege or work product privilege, even though Tehama County shared the documents with the project’s developer.