California Environmental Laws and Policies Update – June 2022 | Allen Matkins

To concentrate

Ball Associated Press – June 2

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday proposed rescinding a Trump-era rule limiting the power of states and Native American tribes under the Clean Water Act to block certain government-regulated projects. federal government, such as gas pipelines and dams, based on their potential to pollute. The rule in question required local regulators to focus their reviews on the pollution the projects might dump into specific rivers, streams and wetlands. It also rigidly imposed a one-year deadline for regulators to make licensing decisions. EPA’s proposal would give states the power to look beyond pollution dumped into waterways and ‘holistically assess’ a project’s impact on local water quality . The proposal would also give local regulators more power to ensure they have the information they need before they face time pressure to issue or deny a permit. The final rule is not expected to come into effect until 2023, after a public comment period.


New

Ball Courthouse News Service – May 31

A California appeals court ruled Tuesday that invertebrates, including four native bumblebee species, are protected under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), reversing a 2020 Sacramento Superior Court ruling. sued the California Fish and Game Commission (CFGC) for putting bees on the endangered species list, arguing that bees were outside the commission’s domain since they are not birds, reptiles, mammals, fish or amphibians. The decision ends a four-year standoff between the CFGC and agricultural groups. It also paves the way for the protection of other CESA-threatened insects, including the monarch butterfly, whose population has fallen by 95% since the 1980s.


Ball San Francisco Chronicle – May 31

On May 19, Sacramento Superior Court Judge James Arguelles ordered a halt to a statewide program to spray pesticides on public lands and some private properties, saying officials Californians are required to assess the potential health effects of spraying projects in advance and they have failed to do so. The decision follows a state appeals court ruling in October that the state Department of Food and Agriculture had significantly underestimated the amount of pesticides it uses. and failed to provide protections for waterways, bees and other pollinators that could be harmed by the chemicals.


Ball Los Angeles Times – May 31

A long-running proposal to flood a valley about 70 miles north of Sacramento and create a massive reservoir to supply water to Southern California is finding new life — and opposition — amid the effects of change climate and worsening drought. First conceived in the 1950s, the Sites Reservoir project, located about 10 miles west of the small town of Maxwell and Interstate 5 in Colusa County, was abandoned in the 1980s. Recently, Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District earmarked $20 million for planning the project, saying the reservoir would make the region’s water supply more resilient in times of drought. The proposal also won bipartisan support led by Governor Gavin Newsom, $816 million from a voter-approved bond and more than $2.2 billion in loans offered by state and federal agencies.


Ball Cargo Waves – May 31

The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) is suing the California Air Resources Board for moving too quickly to implement pollution regulation changes in the state. The EMA says in a lawsuit filed last Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that the strict emission standards, testing procedures and other emissions-related requirements adopted by the agency ignore the provision of the Clean Air Act that gives manufacturers at least four years to comply. California passed its heavy-duty engine and vehicle omnibus regulations on Dec. 21. The new standards come into effect on January 1, 2024.


Ball Bloomberg Law – May 26

The EPA on Thursday unveiled a review of dozens of existing laws it can use to better protect marginalized communities from pollution and advance the Biden administration’s broad environmental justice efforts. The review of legal tools, which has undergone its first update since 2011, reflects statutory changes that have been made since the EPA’s general counsel first released the Obama-era document. Although the document is primarily written for internal use, it could also assist states authorized to enforce environmental laws and regulations as well as environmental justice advocacy groups and industry lawyers.

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