Tags: CEQA, environmental law, greenhouse gases
California Supreme Court Strictly Interprets State Fully Protected Species Statute and Finds Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis Inadequate in Newhall Ranch EIR
On Monday, the California Supreme Court issued its third opinion of 2015 interpreting the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). In the majority opinion in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife – authored by Justice Werdegar and joined by four other justices (including all three of Governor Brown’s appointees) – the Court invalidated the greenhouse gas emissions analysis in an environmental impact report (“EIR”) prepared by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”) for a major residential development in Southern California. The Court also determined that the EIR’s mitigation measures related to a fully protected species were invalid under the state Fish and Game Code and rejected CDFW’s argument that petitioners failed to exhaust their administrative remedies on certain other claims.