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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 7

Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley

45 ELR 20042
S201116 (Cal., March 2015)

The California Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that a developer's proposal to demolish an existing home and build a 10,000 square-foot single-family home on the lot may not be categorically exempt from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)....

Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement, Exemptions, Property

Landmark Legal Foundation v. Environmental Protection Agency

45 ELR 20043
12-1726 (D.D.C., March 2015)

A district court denied a conservative nonprofit advocacy group's motion for spoliation sanctions against EPA for its mishandling of the group's FOIA request, but nevertheless scolded the Agency for its conduct. Because the record does not support a finding of punitive spoliation sanctions, the...

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

California Dump Truck Owners Ass'n v. Nichols

45 ELR 20045
13-15175 (9th Cir.., March 2015)

The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a trucking association's federal preemption challenge to a California environmental regulation on diesel trucks. The regulation requires heavy-duty diesel trucks, whose emissions contribute significantly to particulate matter and ozone pollution, to be...

Auto emission standards, Court of appeals jurisdiction, §307(b)

Western Watersheds Project v. United States Bureau of Land Management

45 ELR 20044
CV-13-01028-PHX-PGR (D. Ariz., February 2015)

A district court held that BLM failed to adequately explain and support its decision to allow grazing on Sonoran Desert National Monument lands north of Interstate Highway 8 in violation of NEPA. Specifically, the court ruled that BLM's land health evaluation—an essential step in the process of...

National monuments

Tesoro Alaska Co. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Comm'n

45 ELR 20039
13-1248 (D.C. Cir., February 2015)

The D.C. Circuit upheld FERC's approval of a cost-pooling agreement among Trans Alaska Pipeline System oil carriers that allocates most fixed costs on the basis of each carrier's share of combined interstate and intrastate utilization of the 800-mile pipeline. Two carriers that only ship oil...

Energy (generally)

CREED-21 v. City of San Diego

45 ELR 20041
D064186 (Cal. App. 4th Dist., January 2015)

A California appellate court ordered the dismissal of an environmental group's California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit against a city in connection with emergency storm drain repair and revegetation projects. Following a storm drain failure in 2009 that caused significant erosion...

Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement, Exemptions