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California Supreme Court Addresses Intersection of City Right-of-Way Dedication Requirements and Project Influence in Valuing Condemned Property

Just compensation in condemnation has long been held to require payment that is fair to both the property owner having its property seized and the public taking it. Two of the rules that have developed in this pursuit of fairness came face to face in a recent case, City of Perris v. Stamper, No. S213468, … Continue Reading

Status of Oil and Gas-related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

September 11, 2015, was the deadline for lawmakers to pass legislation and send to the Governor for signature or veto. Below is a summary of several bills related to oil and gas activities, which Stoel Rives has been monitoring. We note that several bills have been identified as two-year bills and, as such, we will … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Michigan v. EPA, a Clean Air Act case involving hazardous air pollutant regulations, with implications for fossil fuel-fired power plant owners and operators in California and across the country.  Below you’ll find guest blogger Tom Wood‘s insight into the case and the arguments: On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard … Continue Reading

New Water Reporting Requirements for Oil and Gas Operators

A new oil and gas reporting bill, Senate Bill 1281, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley, was signed by Governor Brown on September 25, 2014.  The California Department of Conservation – Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) issued a Notice to Operators containing important information on the new law’s reporting mandates on December … Continue Reading

California Environmental Law Blog Launches New Responsive Design and Enhanced Reader Features

Dear California Environmental Law Blog readers. We launched this blog in 2011 to help us keep you informed about developing environmental stories that impact the California business community. While our commitment to keep you informed hasn’t changed, technology has. More than three years ago, we were still operating in a desktop- and RSS-dominated world. Today, … Continue Reading

Drilling Bill Fails in Assembly

SB 1096 (Jackson), which sought to foreclose the possibility of oil drilling in state waters from wells that could be drilled at Vandenberg Air Force Base, was defeated in the Assembly on Tuesday.  Pursuant to the Legislature’s summary of the bill, the California Coastal Sanctuary Act of 1994 authorizes the California State Lands Commission (SLC) … Continue Reading

SB-1281 Amended to Remove Requirement for Oil, Gas Drillers to Use Recycled Water

SB-1281 faced strong industry opposition due to the bill’s requirement that oil and gas drilling companies use recycled water for new operations during drought emergencies.  Industry representatives have stated that such requirements would violate the California constitution and other laws.  In response, the bill’s author, Senator Fran Pavley, last week agreed to amendments, which removed … Continue Reading

What’s a ROG and Can It Hurt Me? EIR Overturned For Failure to Explain Air Quality Impacts to Human Health

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. May 27, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District found fault with the County of Fresno’s (County)  review of the Friant Ranch Project (Project) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The appellate court concluded that the County’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) did not sufficiently … Continue Reading

SMARA Amendments Moving Forward in State Senate

SB 1270, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), survived the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water on April 29, 2014 by a 7-2 vote.  Some additional amendments were made yesterday, May 7, 2014.  Last year the Legislature passed SB 447, which, as discussed in our October 1, 2013 post, modified the Office … Continue Reading

City Officials Dodge Disclosure of Private Emails and Texts Under Public Records Act

In a case that seems sure to jump-start legislative activity in Sacramento and throughout the state, the court in City of San Jose v. Superior Court (6th App. Dist., Mar. 27, 2014), held that communications regarding City business sent or received by a City of San Jose official (here, the mayor, council members, and their … Continue Reading

BREAKING: California’s General Industrial Storm Water Permit Slated For Adoption on April 1, 2014

Today, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) released for public comment its Draft Industrial Storm Water Permit and supporting documents.  This is the fourth (and likely final) version of the Draft Industrial Storm Water Permit, which is designed to replace the existing Industrial Storm Water Permit in place since 1997. The Draft Industrial … Continue Reading

It’s in the Bag: San Fran Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance Survives Court Challenge

In Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City and County of San Francisco, et al. (“Plastic Bag III”) (December 10, 2013), the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the Superior Court’s denial of a petition for a writ of mandate seeking to invalidate a 2012 San Francisco ordinance banning the use of plastic, single-use “checkout … Continue Reading

California Department of Conservation (“DOC”) Proposes Emergency Rulemaking for SB 4 Interim Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations

On December 11, 2013, the DOC proposed an emergency rulemaking to implement interim provisions of SB 4.  Public Resources Code section 3161, part of SB 4, provides for an interim grace period from the permitting requirement of SB 4 until SB 4’s regulations are effective.  Section 3161 also provides for DOC’s Division of Oil, Gas … Continue Reading

California Department of Conservation Publishes Notice of Proposed Regulations for Well Stimulation

On November 15, 2013, the California Department of Conservation (“DOC”) published the notice of proposed rulemaking action regarding draft regulations for well stimulation.  These proposed regulations will implement SB 4, which Governor Brown on September 20, 2013, and will become effective on January 1, 2014.   The draft regulations supplement the Division of Oil, Gas and … Continue Reading

EPA Amends Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule

On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a final rule in the Federal Register amending the Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule.  This is required by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (“DCIA”) in order to adjust civil monetary penalties for inflation.  The DCIA sets out a four-step formula that … Continue Reading

Study Shows Potential Significant Economic Impacts from Development of Shale Oil in the San Joaquin Valley

            Economists at California State University, Fresno recently published a study on the current and future economic impacts of oil production from the Monterey Shale Formation (MSF) in the San Joaquin Valley.  The study was commissioned by the Western State Petroleum Association and responds to the need for a greater understanding of the petroleum industry’s … Continue Reading

California Moving Forward with the Implementation of SB 4

Efforts are already underway to implement SB 4, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 20, 2013 (see September 23, 2013 post).  The California Department of Conservation (the “Department”) and its Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources have begun developing draft regulations months before the law’s effective date of January 1, 2014.  The process of developing … Continue Reading

Second District Court of Appeal finds Failure to Request a CEQA Hearing within 90 Days is Excusable Neglect

The Second District Court of Appeal has issued a decision in Comunidad en Accion v. Los Angeles City Council (case no. B240554 (Sept. 20, 2013), finding that the petitioner’s failure to timely request a hearing under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) was excusable neglect.  The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s ruling dismissing … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Takings – Demand for Monetary Exaction as Permit Condition Can Be an Unconstitutional Taking

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision today in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, ruling that a monetary exaction that is improperly imposed as a permit condition can amount to a taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The decision is significant because it allows a takings claim … Continue Reading

HSR Files Validation Action Against All Interested People

On March 19, the California Attorney General’s office filed a complaint for a validation action against all interested people in the world in Sacramento Superior Court on behalf of the California High Speed Rail Authority (“Authority”).  A validation action is a process granted only to public agencies under California law that permits such agencies to … Continue Reading

Senator Rubio Resigns: Is CEQA Reform Dead?

Senator Michael Rubio (D-Shafter) announced today that he is resigning from the California State Senate, effective today.  Senator Rubio made headlines at the end of the 2012 legislative session when he introduced a bill to significantly reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  At that time, he agreed to work with Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Opens Office in Washington, D.C.

We are pleased to announce that we have opened a satellite office in Washington, D.C. Our new address, effective immediately: Stoel Rives LLP 1020 19th Street NW, Suite 375 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 398-1795 / Fax: (202) 621-6394 The new office is headed by firm partner Greg Jenner, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of … Continue Reading
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