Satellite measurements show huge drop in groundwater aquifers in California's Central Valley

By Thomas H. Clarke, Jr. For the last three years, California has been experiencing a major drought; only this season has the rainfall been "normal", probably due to El Nino. Yet, during the last six years, even before the onset of the drought, crop irrigation in California's Central...

Federal Government Urges Supreme Court Dismissal Of Carbon Dioxide Lawsuits

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The federal government on Aug. 25 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate a lower court decision to reinstate two lawsuits seeking to limit carbon dioxide emissions, arguing that new greenhouse gas regulations have displaced public nuisance cause of actions ( American...

California's OEHHA sets a Public Health Goal for Chrome-6 at 0.02 ppb

Hexavalent Chromium (aka Chrome-6 or Cr-6) is a known human carcinogen when inhaled; there has been considerable debate in recent years regarding its toxicity if ingested. Cr-6 has been used in the past as an anti-microbial on cooling towers. Chromium compounds are also used 1) in the fabrication...

9th Circuit upholds California's Vessel Fuel Rules in face of constitutional challenge

Prior posts have noted that California issued Vessel Fuel Rules designed to reduce air pollution created by ships moving along the coast. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Assoc. sued, alleging that it was unconstitutional to apply such rules to shipping more than 3 miles from the California Coast. The District...

OEHHA proposes to list cyanide as a male reproductive toxicant under Proposition 65

As you may recall from prior posts, the warning threshold for a "reproductive toxicant" under Proposition 65 is determined by finding a "no-effects" level, and then dividing that number by 1,000. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), a part of Cal-EPA, administers...

Recent California Decisions Favor Solar Developers Over Environment

By Laura Mulry, Fellow, Center for Climate Change, Columbia Law School April 2011 was an eventful month for massive solar projects in California and their unlikely opponent: the desert tortoise. As climate change, overpopulation, and development place ever more plant and animal species at risk of extinction...

California Supreme Court upholds municipal ban on plastic bags

In June 2008, the city manager of Manhattan Beach (a small, beach-front community in Southern California) issued a staff report recommending the adoption of an ordinance banning the use of "point-of-sale plastic carry-out bags" in the city. The proposed ordinance included a finding that the...

LexisNexis® Legal News Podcast - Chevron and California Reach Settlement on Underground Gasoline Storage Tanks

California announces a proposed $24.5 million settlement with Chevron owners involving underground gasoline storage tanks (third story in podcast at 3:40), and the Mississippi Supreme Court reverses a multi-million lead verdict against Sherwin-Williams. Hear these and other stories from LexisNexis®...

Demystifying CEQA's Cumulative Impact Analysis Requirements: Guidance for Defensible EIR Evaluation

By Ms. Nicole Hoeksma Gordon and Mr. Albert Herson, Attorneys, The Sohagi Law Group Get the latest on issues agencies face when conducting a "cumulative impact analysis" in an Environmental Impact Report in California. The article identifies legal requirements and provides practical strategies...

Streamlining in the Name of Economic Improvement and Job Creation Dominates 2011 California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") Legislation

By Mr. Ron Bass and Mr. Al Herson I. Introduction to 2011 CEQA Legislation In a last minute flurry of activity, three bills dominated the California Legislature's attention to CEQA during the final week of the session, and were signed into law. All three bills are based on a common principle...

Superfund Site Reopened to Address Vapor Intrusion Issues

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block In 1992, a consent decree was entered into between U.S. EPA and two PRPs to address contamination at an NPL site in Mountain View, California. In June 2001, U.S. EPA certified completion of remediation activities per the 1992 consent agreement. Almost...

New Chemicals Proposed for Addition to California’s Proposition 65 List

By Katherine M. Rahill, Partner, Jenner & Block In December and January, the California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment ("OEHHA") announced its intent to add seven new chemicals to the Proposition 65 chemicals list: •...

2011 California Environmental Legislative Recap--A Touch More Green

By Mr. Gary Lucks Get the latest analysis of environmental laws recently passed by the California Legislature. The article includes coverage of 2011 state legislation on a variety of topics, such as climate change, air and water quality, energy, the California Environmental Quality Act, land use, sustainability...

California State Water Board’s Low-Threat UST Case Closure Policy Is Now Effective

By Sedina L. Banks, Attorney, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP On May 1, 2012, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted via Resolution No. 2012-0016 the Water Quality Control Policy for Low-Threat Underground Storage Tank Case Closure (Low-Threat Closure...

BPA, the never-ending saga

Prior posts have reviewed various studies that indicate that BPA has estrogenic effects. In January 2013 the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed listing BPA under California's Proposition 65 because OEHHA's evaluation of the data indicated an adverse impact on...

Assembly Bill 227 – An Ineffective Attempt To Reform California's Proposition 65

The 60-day notice provision of Proposition 65 was allegedly modeled after several then existing (1986) Federal environmental statutes. OEHHA: Final Statement of Reasons for Section 12903 (5/14/97) at http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/law/903fsr.html . Like Federal law, Proposition 65's notice provision...

Who literally profits from Proposition 65 litigation?

An interesting two-piece assessment has been published by KQED, the San Francisco PBS radio and television station. They are succinct and informative. Links to the two articles can be found at: http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/who-profits-from-proposition-65-part-one/ http://blogs.kqed.org...

Marten Law on American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles

In this article, Jessica Ferrell of Marten Law PLLC examines the Supreme Court's decision in Am. Trucking Ass'ns v. City of Los Angeles. Along with holding that the Federal Aviation Admin. Authorization Act preempts provisions of the Port of Los Angeles' Clean Truck Program, the opinion limits...

In New Jersey, You May Go To Jail For Not Feeding Your Dog or Cat

CRIME & PUNISHMENT: NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) signs SB 1303, which makes it a fourth degree crime in the Garden to State to fail to provide an animal with sufficient food, water and other necessities. The crime would be elevated to a third degree offense if the animal dies (STAR-LEDGER ...

House Passes California Water Bill Over Governor Brown's Objections

HOUSE PASSES CA WATER BILL OVER BROWN'S OBJECTIONS: The ongoing drought in California has sparked yet another new skirmish in the longstanding war between the Golden State's pro-environmental forces and its pro-business agricultural interests. Last Wednesday, the Republican-controlled U.S. House...