Governor Approves Online-only CEQA Notice During COVID-19

While uncertainty remains regarding the CEQA statute of limitations under the Judicial Council’s April 6th Emergency Order (available here), the Governor issued Executive Order N-54-20 (EO N-54-20) on April 23 to provide some clarity on noticing procedures under CEQA (available here) while physical distancing protocols are in effect. EO N-54-20 suspends certain public filing and notice requirements under CEQA for 60 days. Any materials that would normally be required to be publicly posted, filed with a county clerk, or made available to…

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Supreme Court Holds Clean Water Act Can Apply To Groundwater

In a 6-3 decision penned by Justice Breyer, the United States Supreme Court held on April 23 that discharges of pollutants to groundwater that reach surface water may require a Section 402 permit under the Clean Water Act. The decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund (No. 18-260) resolved a split of the circuit courts and established  a new “functional equivalent” test to determine when a permit is required. However, the Court explicitly left defining “functional equivalent” to…

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Welcome Carlyn Drivdahl and Peter Landreth!

We are very excited to announce that Carlyn Drivdahl and Peter Landreth have joined our firm as Counsel and that Rob Taboada has been elevated to Partner. Carlyn practices in the areas of land use, public contracting, and public ethics, with an emphasis on land use entitlements. After working at Best Best & Krieger, Carlyn spent twelve years as a Deputy County Counsel for the County of Tuolumne. Carlyn’s in-house county counsel experience gives Carlyn a deep understanding of the…

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Streamlined CEQA Review of Housing Project at Greater Height and Density than Allowed by Zoning Upheld in Sacramentans for Fair Planning v. City of Sacramento

In the first published opinion to consider a Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA), the Third District upheld the City of Sacramento’s approval and streamlined CEQA review of a transit priority project that would build “significantly more housing” than otherwise allowed in the zoning code. The opinion strengthens charter city’sgeneral police powerto exceed density restrictions where “it is determined that the project provides a significant community benefit.” This will help cities seeking to densify their urban core beyond existing zoning and…

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New vapor intrusion fact sheet from the San Francisco Bay Regional Board

The San Francisco Bay Regional Board published a vapor intrusion fact sheet today (July 26) that expresses a preference for active mitigation and long-term monitoring, and notes that developers should assume it will take the Board 60 days to review each report. Read the full fact sheet here: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sanfranciscobay/water_issues/programs/ESL/vims_fact_sheet.pdf

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