The ancient public trust doctrine is as relevant as ever in today’s California, with implications for how local governments make decisions that could directly or indirectly affect water resources.
Building Decarbonization Update: Local Governments in California Consider Strategies to Reduce Natural Gas Use in Existing Buildings
Following up on the October 2019 and February 2020 editions of In the Public Interest, this article provides an update regarding strategies proposed by several cities and counties to encourage or require existing buildings to go all-electric.
On June 10, 2021, Tamara Galanter spoke on amendments to conservation easements and the use of building areas in conservation easements at the Eighth Symposium on Advanced Legal Topics in Land Conservation sponsored by the Land Trust Alliance. As a faculty member, Tamara joined seven other leading legal experts and practitioners to educate more than […]
Firm members Lauren Tarpey and Matthew Zinn outlined the historic rationale for California’s Clean Air Act waiver from federal preemption in a recent article for the Daily Journal: Restoring California’s leadership in setting tailpipe emission standards (paywall). Following the EPA’s announcement that it will reconsider a Trump era decision to revoke California’s waiver, the article […]
SMW and its client Endangered Habitats League scores a major victory in 2020 in its battle to save the Proctor Valley in San Diego County. The Wildlife Conservation Board voted down a proposal to convey a 220-acre state ecological reserve to a private developer as part of a 1,200-unit upscale housing project. Read more here: […]
In 2016 the firm successfully represents Rodeo residents in opposing the expansion of the Phillips 66 refinery for failure to adequately evaluate and mitigate the air quality impacts of the project. (Rodeo Citizens Ass’n. v. Contra Costa County.) In 2020, Phillips 66 announces plans to shift production away from petroleum products to renewable fuels.
From the district court to the U.S. Supreme Court, the firm defends the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s innovative “Clean Fleet Rules” against a challenge by industry. SCAQMD ultimately wins a final judgment that upholds the bulk of the rules. (Engine Mfrs. Assn. v. SCAQMD, 541 U.S. 246 (2004); 498 F.4d 1031 (9th Cir. […]
Working closely with the State Coastal Conservancy and environmental consultants, the firm in 2020 helps secure the approval of the Redwood National and State Park Visitor Center and Restoration Project in Humboldt County. The new visitor’s center provides a state-of-the-art facility for visitors to learn about and explore the area’s magnificent old-growth redwood forests.
With the Firm’s help, Climate First: Replacing Oil and Gas (CFROG) successfully advocates in 2020 for Ventura County General Plan policies establishing some of the nation’s strongest health and safety buffer zones around new oil and gas development. The firm also supports CFROG in their fight for adequate environmental review of new oil wells and […]
The firm represents Orange County Communities for Responsible Development, a community-labor alliance, in a challenge to the City of Santa Ana’s sale of public lands. While the challenge is underway, the state legislature adopts new Surplus Land Act provisions protecting the public’s interest in such lands. Many of the Santa Ana sales are halted, giving […]