Envt'l Law News Fall 2017, Vol. 26, No. 2
- 2016-2017 Environmental Law Section Executive Committee
- Analyzing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Ceqa: Why the Questions Left Unanswered by Newhall Ranch Have Demonstrated the Need for an Update to the Ceqa Guidelines
- California's Proposed "Dredge and Fill" Program for Wetlands and Other Waters of the State
- Environmental Law News Publications Committee
- Protecting Public Coastal Access Easements from Extinction
- Southern California's Once Groundbreaking Cap and Trade Program is Now Riding Towards the Sunset
- Table of Contents
- Vapor Intrusion: Acute Exposure Regulatory Developments and Litigation Trends
- The Sandag Decision: How Lead Agencies Can "Stay in Step" with Law and Science in Addressing the Climate Impacts of Large-Scale Planning and Infrastructure Projects
The SANDAG Decision: How Lead Agencies Can "Stay in Step" with Law and Science in Addressing the Climate Impacts of Large-Scale Planning and Infrastructure Projects
by Janill L. Richards*
In March 2015, the California Supreme Court granted review in Cleveland National Forest Foundation, et al. v. San Diego Association of Governments, et al., framing the issue presented as follows:
Cleveland Nat. Forest Foundation v. San Diego Assn. of Governments (2017) 3 Cal.5th 497, 510 (hereinafter SANDAG).
At that time, some commentators suggested the case would provide an opportunity for the Court to "reform" CEQAâthat is, to pull back from a broad reading of the Act’s fundamental (and nearly 50-year-old) objectives. Others hoped the Court would provide clear, step-by-step guidance on how lead agencies must analyze a project’s long-term climate impacts to comply with CEQA. The Courtâquite reasonablyâdid neither. Though it resolved the particular dispute in SANDAG’s favor, the Court emphasized that, going forward, more will likely be required of lead agenciesâparticularly those with responsibilities for large-scale, long-term planning and infrastructure projects. This article explores how such agencies might endeavor to "stay in step" with the law and science related to the State’s long-term climate objectives as they carry out their duties under CEQA. See SANDAG, supra, 3 Cal.5th at p. 504; see also id. at p. 519.