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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

Valley Land Owner’s Bid to Derail High Speed Rail Is Denied

In the continuing legal battle between Central Valley agricultural interests and California’s high-speed rail (“HSR”) project, plaintiffs in three separate lawsuits in Sacramento County Superior Court requested a preliminary injunction to stop all work associated with the initial segment of the HSR between Merced and Fresno until a ruling on the lawsuits’ merits.  On November … Continue Reading

California Issues 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan

The California Bioenergy Interagency Working Group has released its 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan, with the goal of facilitating the development of bioenergy in California on a variety of levels, including research and development support, streamlining and consolidating permitting, facilitating access to transmission, pipelines, and other distribution networks, and policies and laws to monetize the benefits … Continue Reading

State Water Resources Control Board Issues Section 401 Certification for Various Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permits

On April 19, 2012, the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) certified 13 of 50 Nationwide Permits (“NWP”) published by the Army Corps of Engineers on February 21, 2012.  (77 Fed. Reg. 10184-01 (Feb. 21, 2012).)  On February 27, 2012, the State Board posted notice of the Corps’ application for 401 certification of the … Continue Reading

Wyoming Lawsuit May Influence Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Legislation in California

As I last reported here, regulation of hydraulic fracturing is poised to be a hot topic in California this legislative session.  Last session’s AB 591 stalled in the Senate due to outstanding issues over the mandatory reporting of hydraulic fracturing fluid components and confidentiality issues based on trade secret concerns.  The application of a Wyoming … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Upholds Legislation to Eliminate Redevelopment Agencies, Invalidates Option for Agencies Survive by Sharing Tax Revenue

In a decision reflecting perhaps the worst-case scenario for the redevelopment community, the California Supreme Court largely upheld Assembly Bill X1 26, which requires the dissolution of redevelopment agencies across the State, but invalidated Assembly Bill X1 27, which would have given redevelopment agencies an option of continuing to exist if the agencies shared their … Continue Reading

Another Challenge to the Avenal Energy Project’s PSD Permit

The Avenal Energy Project’s Prevention for Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) permit has long been the subject of review and legal challenges.  On November 3, 2011, the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice filed a joint Petition for Review in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the permit.  Please … Continue Reading

Redevelopment Agency Legislation Signed by Governor Brown

After a late evening of floor sessions on June 28, 2011, both the Senate and the Assembly, with a majority vote, passed the “Democratic Budget”.  Governor Brown signed some of the $85.9 billion budget which includes bills ABX1 26 and ABX1 27.  ABX1 26 and ABX1 27,  both by Assembly member Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), eliminate … Continue Reading

Compliance with California Cap-and-Trade May Be Deferred Until 2013

California greenhouse gas emitters may be granted a reprieve.  The Executive Director of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Mary Nichols, testified before the California Senate Select Committee on the Environment, the Economy, and Climate Change yesterday that CARB is proposing to delay requirements for compliance with the state cap-and-trade program for a year.  Nichols … Continue Reading

Coffee Brewers and Servers Sued Under Prop 65

As we foreshadowed with our blog regarding 60 day notices, the Committee for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) filed a Proposition 65 enforcement action alleging that ready-to-brew coffee exposes coffee drinkers to acrylamide (a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer). CERT v. Brad Berry Co., Ltd., No. BC461182 (Cal. Sup. … Continue Reading

High-Speed Rail Authority Applies for Additional Federal Funds to Extend Starter Segment in Central Valley

Late last week, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (“Authority”) approved the submission of an additional funding application to the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”) that would, if approved, extend the “starter” segment of the High-Speed Rail Project (“HSR”) north to Merced and south to downtown Bakersfield, making the segment fully operational after construction.  The first segment … Continue Reading
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