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Court Confirms Methodology for Assessing Greenhouse Gas Impacts Under CEQA

On December 20, 2023, the California Supreme Court denied a petition for review of Tsakopoulos Investments, LLC v. County of Sacramento (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 280, which upheld the County of Sacramento’s greenhouse gas (GHG) CEQA thresholds. In Tsakopoulos, the County of Sacramento certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that analyzed impacts of development of a mixed use project known as Mather South that includes about 3,500 residential units, schools, retail, R&D, parks and 157 acres of open space.  The County had developed GHG…

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New Year, New ASTM Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Beautiful Green Springtime Forest Landscape

On November 1, 2021, ASTM International approved an updated version of ASTM E1527, the standard governing Phase I environmental site assessments (ESAs).  This standard is updated every 8 years and the new version, ASTM E1527-21, will replace the current standard, ASTM E1527-13.  The version of ASTM E1527-21 published on November 1, 2021 is currently under review by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), following which the EPA will adopt a rule formally recognizing the new standard as compliant with the All…

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Five Things to Know about Offshore Wind in California This Fall

Windmills In A Row Next To Water

In California, the wind blows offshore in the fall, and this fall has been especially busy for offshore wind developments.  While the Governor’s signing of AB 525 (Chiu) received the most press, other vitally important agencies took steps to move offshore wind development forward, including the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), California Coastal Commission, the Energy Commission, and the State Lands Commission. Legislation: AB 525 sets a course for offshore wind in California by requiring the Energy Commission…

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New Statutory Requirements if Local Agencies Want to Continue Teleconferenced Public Meetings with Social Distance Modifications

Man Working From Home Having Group Videoconference On Laptop

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom authorized local agencies to conduct teleconference meetings without complying with certain Brown Act requirements to allow for social distancing during COVID-19, i.e., the following “Social Distance Modifications”: Agenda not required to be posted at each teleconference location Each teleconference location not required to be listed on the agenda Each teleconference location not required to be open and accessible to the public Quorum of the legislative body not required to participate within the jurisdiction’s boundaries…

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Fast Track Opportunity for Battery Storage Projects In California

Energy Storage System Concept

On July 31, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Emergency Order (“EO”) to address the strains on the energy grid from climate-change related weather events (see our prior analysis here).  The EO included a directive for the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) to create an expedited permitting process for new or expanded battery storage projects that (a) add at least 20 megawatts of power, (b) can discharge for at least for 2 hours, and (c) can deliver net peak energy…

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