Parissa Florez

Parissa Florez

Parissa Florez focuses her practice in environmental and energy law, emphasizing land use, environmental due diligence, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) permit approval process, municipal law, and land use and environmental litigation. Prior to joining the firm, she was a clean tech policy intern for the U.S.-China Green Energy Council where she worked on current policy, legislation and trends in clean tech and green energy. Parissa was also a Green Policy and Leadership Intern at Green For All working under Van Jones to collaborate on key provisions to be entered into the 2009 Climate and Energy Bill passed through the House of Representatives.

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First Quarter CEQA Update in Under 60 Seconds

Okay, maybe slightly longer than 60 seconds.  The point being, though, that CEQA case updates really should not read like law school case briefs.  Long discussion of the lower court’s findings?  No thank you.  Point/counterpoint for each and every argument made by petitioners?  No one has time for that.  Get in, get out and move … Continue Reading

New Forecast in California: An End to the Drought (For Now!) in Most Counties

On April 7th, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order that lifts the drought emergency in fifty-four of the fifty-eight California counties. After six years of a prolonged drought in California, Executive Order B-40-17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne. While the drought is declared over for … Continue Reading

Developer Catches a Break in California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling

In Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, No. S201116 (Cal. Mar. 2, 2015) (slip op), the California Supreme Court overturned an appeals court ruling that banned developers from using an exemption under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) to avoid undertaking an environmental impact report (“EIR”) for the construction of a proposed two-story 10,000-square-foot … Continue Reading

Applying for California Minority-Owned Business Entity Certification: Process & Benefits

We were pleased to announce this week that client Southern Ute Alternative Energy, LLC received certification as a Minority-owned Business Entity (MBE) from the California Supplier Clearinghouse.  Southern Ute Alternative Energy, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Growth Fund (www.sugf.com). Under General Order 156, the California Public Utilities Commission … Continue Reading

How to Speak Storm Water in 2015: Terminology from the New Industrial General Storm Water Permit

As my colleague Missy Foster recently reported, the deadline for compliance with California’s new Industrial Storm Water permit (2014 Permit) is fast approaching.  There is a lot to learn about the 2014 Permit before it takes effect on July 1, 2015. The 2014 Permit contains numerous new acronyms.  Below is the quick A to Z … Continue Reading

Treasure Island Update: San Francisco EIR Specific Enough

In Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure Island v. City & County of San Francisco, No. A137828 (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist., July 7, 2014), the First Appellate District upheld an environmental impact report (“EIR”) for the renovation of Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.  Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure Island (“CSTI”) argued that the City … Continue Reading

Court Finds No CEQA Necessary For Utility Cabinets on San Francisco Sidewalks

In San Francisco Beautiful v. City and County of San Francisco, No. CPF11511535, (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist. May 30, 2014), the First Appellate District upheld San Francisco's application of a categorical exemption to exempt from CEQA review the installation by AT&T of 726 utility cabinets on public sidewalks. AT&T applied for a categorical exemption for its "Lightspeed" project (the Project), which is intended to upgrade broad band Internet speed and capabilities. The majority of the utility cabinets would be approximately 48 inches high, 51.7 inches wide, and 26 inches deep. (Slip Op. at p. 2.) Although AT&T had not determined precisely where the new utility cabinets would be located, the new cabinets would be "paired" with or placed within 300 feet of existing AT&T utility cabinets. (Ibid.) In response to community concerns, AT&T also promised to affix a 24-hour-a-day contact number for reporting graffiti directly to AT&T and a system in which AT&T personnel would remove the graffiti. (Ibid. at p. 3.) In 2010, AT&T submitted a revised application for a categorical exemption pursuant to section 15303(d) of the CEQA Guidelines (Guidelines), and the San Francisco Planning Department (SFPD) determined that the Project was categorically exempt from CEQA, leading to the present litigation. The trial court denied plaintiffs' challenge, and they appealed.… Continue Reading

California’s Nine Energy Policy Goals with 2020 Target Date

By Ryan R. Waterman, Parissa Ebrahimzadeh What does California have planned for the year 2020? An ambitious collection of energy related goals. Stoel Rives attorneys Ryan Waterman and Parissa Ebrahimzadeh explore nine California energy policy goals in an article entitled “California’s “Magic” Number: Nine Goals for 2020 and Where We May Go From There,” published … Continue Reading

Ten Things To Know About California’s New Industrial Storm Water Permit

On April 1, 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board unanimously adopted a new Industrial Storm Water permit (2014 Permit).  You can find the new Industrial Storm Water permit and supporting documents here, along with a change sheet also adopted by the State Board. The federal Clean Water Act prohibits certain discharges of storm water … Continue Reading

New Alternative Does Not Trigger Recirculation of Draft EIR Unless Considered “Significant New Information”

In South County Citizens for Smart Growth v. County of Nevada, the Third Appellate District held that South County Citizens for Smart Growth’s (“Smart Growth”) claim that the County of Nevada  violated CEQA by failing to prepare and recirculate a revised draft EIR was unfounded because the new alternative project proposal did not constitute “significant … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Finds BAAQMD CEQA Significance Thresholds Did Not Violate CEQA

Greenhouse Gas and Toxic Air Contaminant CEQA Thresholds May Soon Be Reinstated In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (filed August 13, 2013) (“CBIA”) , the First District Court of Appeal concluded that an agency’s approval of CEQA significance thresholds does not constitute a “project” under CEQA, and consequently, does … Continue Reading

“Compromise” CEQA Reform Bill Passes in the Senate

On May 29, 2013 a Senate floor vote of a unanimous 39 ayes passed Senator Darrell Steinberg’s (D-Sacramento) bill, Senate Bill No. 731 (SB 731), outlining revisions to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Named the “CEQA Modernization Act of 2013,” the bill is intended to streamline projects that are consistent with an adopted specific … Continue Reading
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