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AZGFD considers potential impacts of appellate court ruling on Mexican wolf

mexican wolfPHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is assessing potential impacts to Arizona’s endangered and threatened wildlife recovery program, following a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that lifts a preliminary injunction on releasing Mexican wolves  in New Mexico.

The court decision issued Tuesday held that the State of New Mexico had not met the legal standard for a preliminary injunction because it did not demonstrate that releasing Mexican wolves without state permits will cause irreparable injury to the state. The ruling reverses a U.S. District Court decision last summer that prohibited the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from importing or releasing any Mexican wolves in New Mexico without first obtaining permits from the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.

Read more: AZGFD considers potential impacts of appellate court ruling on Mexican wolf

The Western Governors’ ESA Initiative

March 8, 2016: The U.S. Congress has not reauthorized the Endangered Species Act since 1992. Despite many attempts to both amend and reauthorize the Act, a 1997 bi-partisan bill introduced by Idaho’s then-Senator Dirk Kempthorne came the closest.[1]

This year the center of gravity for examining the Endangered Species Act (“ESA” or “Act”) has shifted to western governors – those who have the day-to-day experience managing difficult species issues. The Western Governors’ Association (“WGA”) is undertaking a review of the ESA, and is currently in the process of exploring ways and best practices to “elevate the role of states in species conservation efforts.”[2]

Read more: The Western Governors’ ESA Initiative

Fourth Circuit Restricts Scope of Clean Water Act Permit Shield

The Fourth Circuit issued a recent decision that has the potential to increase the burden on permit applicants hoping to avail themselves of the “permit shield” defense under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The case, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards v. A&G Coal Corp., stemmed from a citizen suit seeking to hold a mining company liable for selenium discharges that were not authorized under the defendant’s CWA permit. The court rejected the defendant’s appeal to the permit shield defense based on the defendant’s lack of knowledge regarding the potential for selenium discharges. The court held that the defendant had an affirmative obligation to assess whether such discharges were possible and disclose that information in a permit application to enjoy the protections of the permit shield.

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California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

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