by Scott B. Birkey
I write this Editor’s Note on the heels of the 25th Anniversary of the Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite®. The Conference is the State Bar Environmental Law Section’s marquee event, and over the years it has become an important gathering of lawyers, consultants, policymakers, regulators, and others interested in environmental, natural resource, and land use issues. It’s also an opportunity to showcase the broad spectrum of those issues, and the topical line-up of panels, plenary speakers, and presentations for this year’s Conference certainly reflected that spectrum. I suppose you could say there’s always something for everyone at the Conference. I’d like to encourage all of our Section members and friends to continue to support the Conference and its tradition of creating a space where all of us can gather to get reacquainted, share ideas, and work on perfecting our craft.
Like the annual Conference, the Environmental Law News also seeks to showcase that broad spectrum of topics and positions related to environmental law. This issue of the News is no exception. We bookend this issue with articles on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which is an evolving and important statute that has garnered much attention throughout the year. We include an article on the recent Newhall Ranch decision and new standards for the analysis of greenhouse gas impacts under CEQA. We follow that article with a piece on the Clean Power Plan litigation and how that litigation may change, or at least inform, the applicability of the Chevron doctrine of deference. We then give you an article on the state of California’s regulation of chemicals after recent reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act and after that an article on the evolving regulation of tricholoroethylene, or "TCE," vapor by federal and state regulatory agencies.
This is my last issue as Editor of the Environmental Law News, as I’ll be handing the baton to Julia E. Stein, newly appointed to the Section’s Executive Committee. I’d like to thank all of the authors who have contributed articles to the News during my three-year tenure. I’d also like to thank in particular all of the article editors that tirelessly and with much cheer and intelligence assisted me and the authors in getting all of these articles into print. Thank you!