Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Friends of the King River v. County of Fresno

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20263
Nos. F068818, (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist., 12/08/2014)

A California appellate court upheld a lower court decision denying an environmental group's petition challenging a county's approval of a proposed surface mining operation on a 1,500-acre site at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills. As required by the California Environmental Quality Act, an environmental impact report (EIR) was prepared for the project, which the court ultimately approved. The environmental group filed suit, arguing, among other things, that the EIR was inadequate because it failed to require mitigation for the conversion of farmland to other uses. A trial court denied their petition, and the appellate court affirmed. Because the county-approved EIR includes specific measures to mitigate the loss of farmland, the group's assertion to the contrary is simply incorrect. Likewise, the court rejected the group's claim that the EIR failed to evaluate feasible mitigation measures. Nor was the county required to adopt the use of agricultural conservation easements as a mitigation measure as a matter of law. And the EIR's discussion on the project's potential impacts on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions mitiwere adequate.