Category: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Another CEQA Victory for Conservation Groups in Tahoe, another GHG Mitigation Measure Held Inadequate

In League to Save Lake Tahoe Mt. Area Pres. Found. v. County of Placer (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 63, the Third District Court of Appeal held that a land use specific plan and rezoning permit for commercial and residential development, including workforce housing, of forest land in the Martis Valley near the Northstar California Ski Resort … Continue Reading

GHG Mitigation Once More Found Lacking in San Diego County EIR; Fourth District Also Identifies General Plan Inconsistency but Upholds Wildfire and Air Quality Analyses in Unpublished Opinion

In the unpublished Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council v. County of San Diego (Oct. 14, 2021, Nos. D077611, D078101) [2021 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6474], the Fourth District Court of Appeal found that the County of San Diego’s (County) approval of the Harmony Grove Village project’s (Project) environmental impact report (EIR) did not employ … Continue Reading

Fourth District Finds Failure to Evaluate Consistency with CAP Rendered MND Incomplete Despite no Fair Argument of Inconsistency; Rejects Piecemealing, Project Description, and Aesthetic Impacts Claims, and Others as Barred by a Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

In McCann v. City of San Diego (2021) 70 Cal.App.5th 51, the Fourth District Court of Appeal found that the Plaintiff, Margaret McCann (McCann), was barred from bringing a judicial action challenging the City’s approval of projects for undergrounding utility lines because she failed to exhaust the City of San Diego’s (City’s) administrative appeal process.  … Continue Reading

GOVERNOR SIGNS SWEEPING CLIMATE CHANGE BILL, SENATE BILL 32, INTO LAW

Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (S.B.) 32, which will extend the State’s greenhouse gas targets from 2020 to 2030. The legislation builds on Assembly Bill (A.B.) 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which required California to reduce greenhouse gas levels to 1990-era levels by 2020. Under S.B. 32, the State will … Continue Reading

SUPREME COURT DELAYS DEVELOPMENT OF NEWHALL RANCH PROJECT

On November 30, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2015 Cal. LEXIS 1043, addressing Newhall Ranch, a proposed 12,000 acre development project. The Newhall Ranch Specific Plan area, located in northwestern Los Angeles County in a portion of the Santa Clara River … Continue Reading

SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT FINDS INITIAL STUDY INADEQUATE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT IN LOS ANGELES

In an unpublished opinon, Friends of Highland Park v. City of L.A., 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8002, the Second Appellate District reversed the trial court, holding that the initial study prepared by the City of Los Angeles for an affordable housing project in Highland Park was inadequate because the study lacked quantified greenhouse gas … Continue Reading

Executive Order Establishes New 2030 Mid-Term Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target

On April 29, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Executive Order B-30-15, which establishes “[a] new interim greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030…” (Executive Order B-30-15, ¶ 1, at http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18938.)  The Executive Order requires the California Air Resources Board to express the 2030 target … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Decision Invalidating SANDAG Regional Transportation Plan

On March 11, 2015, the California Supreme Court unanimously granted the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) petition for review of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (2014) 180 Cal.Rptr.3d 548. A complete summary of the case is available here: https://thomaslaw455.wpengine.com/appellate-court-requires-sandag-consider-executive-order-emissions-targets-regional-transportation-plan/, in which … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Denies Writ Challenging EIR for Expansion of Marin County Landfill

In an unpublished opinion in No Wetlands Landfill Expansion v. County of Marin, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8866, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District denied a petition for a writ of mandate challenging the environmental impact report (EIR) for a proposed landfill expansion in Marin County. The court affirmed in … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Requires SANDAG Consider Executive Order Emissions Targets in Regional Transportation Plan

In a split decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 1070, a majority of the three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District affirmed a writ of mandate challenging the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) environmental review of its 2050 Regional … Continue Reading

Addendum Upheld: Amendments to San Jose Airport Master Plan Cleared For Landing

In Citizens Against Airport Pollution v. City of San Jose (2014) Cal. App. LEXIS 588, the Court of Appeal for the Sixth District upheld the trial court’s denial of a writ of mandate challenging the City of San Jose’s (the City) approval of an addendum to an EIR analyzing the environmental impacts of amendments to … Continue Reading

Trial Court Upholds Approval of Plan Bay Area

On July 2, 2014, Judge Evelio Grillo of the Alameda County Superior Court issued a 30-page decision in Bay Area Citizens v. Assn. of Bay Area Governments, et al (Case No. RG13690631), upholding approval of Plan Bay Area by the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Plan Bay Area is the regional … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Issues Neighbors for Smart Rail Decision: Predicted Conditions Baseline Allowable Under CEQA in Limited Circumstances

In a much anticipated decision, the California Supreme Court held in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority that lead agencies can use future predicted conditions as an environmental baseline in assessing the impacts of proposed projects. The court held that in order for an agency to omit the normally required existing … Continue Reading

Court Turns Tide in Favor of Desalination Plant – Holds Ample Substantial Evidence Supports the Project’s EIR

Almost four years after the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) certified an environmental impact report (EIR) and approved a five million gallon a day desalination plant project, the Court of Appeal, First District, in a published opinion (N. Coast Rivers Alliance v. Marin Mun. Water Dist. Bd. of Dirs. (2013) 2013 Cal.App.LEXIS 401), reversed the … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds City’s Approval of Large Commercial Project Even with Unknown Impacts on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Deferred Mitigation, and Rejected Alternative

UPDATE: On August 27, 2012, the Fourth Appellate District Court certified Rialto Citizens for Responsible Growth v. City of Rialto (2012) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 849 for full publication. In a decision certified for partial publication, Rialto Citizens for Responsible Growth v. City of Rialto (2012) 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 849, the Fourth Appellate District … Continue Reading

Court Holds CARB’s Scoping Plan Complies with AB 32

In Associated of Irritated Residents v. California Air Resources Board, (2012) ___ Cal.App.4th ___, the California Court of Appeal, First District, held that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) complied with the requirements of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, when it adopted its Climate Change Scoping Plan (Plan). AB 32 requires, among other … Continue Reading

Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment v. City of Santa Clarita (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 1042

The City of Santa Clarita (City) certified an EIR and adopted a master plan for a project to expand a hospital and medical office space over a 15-year period. The Petitioner challenged the City’s approvals for two reasons: First, the City failed to provide evidence and explanations for why the project’s impact on climate change … Continue Reading

Citizens for Responsible Equitable Environmental Developments v. City of Chula Vista (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 327

The City of Chula Vista (City) approved a proposed Target retail store in reliance on a mitigated negative declaration (MND). Petitioner filed a petition for writ of mandate challenging the MND and claiming that the project may have significant impacts relating to hazardous materials, air pollution, particulate matter and ozone, and greenhouse gas emissions. The … Continue Reading

Citizens for Responsible Equitable Environmental Development v. City of San Diego (2011) 196 Cal. App. 4th 515

In 1994, the City of San Diego (City) certified an EIR and approved a 665-acre mixed-use development plan. In 2008, the City was approached by a developer who wished to build condominiums on the last remaining open space within that area. The City prepared a water supply assessment (WSA) and an addendum to the 1994 … Continue Reading

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Lifts Stay to allow CARB to Continue Implementing LCFS

In Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene (Case no. CV-F-09-2234), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District granted summary judgment in favor of a group of farming and oil-industry plaintiffs, finding that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (“LCFS”) regulations promulgated by the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) to implement provisions of California Assembly Bill … Continue Reading

City of Sacramento’s Climate Action Plan Strives to Achieve an 83% Reduction in 2005 GHG Emissions Levels by 2050

On February 14, 2012, the City of Sacramento will hold a hearing to consider approving the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). (http://www.sacgp.org/cap.html.) The CAP is split into two phases. Phase 1, which was adopted in February 2010, addresses GHG emissions from internal municipal operations. Phase 2, which will be considered by the City Council for … Continue Reading

AB 32 Low Carbon Fuel Standard Found Unconstitutional; Other Climate Change Regulations Could Be Next

In Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene (Case no. CV-F-09-2234), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District granted summary judgment in favor of a group of farming and oil-industry plaintiffs, finding that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (“LCFS”) regulations promulgated by the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) to implement provisions of California Assembly Bill … Continue Reading
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