Category Archives: Appellate Case Summaries

Court holds RWQCB issuance of NPDES permit to Poseidon for desalinization plant properly minimizes intake and kill of marine life through a mix of feasible onsite measures and offsite mitigation.

Surfrider Foundation v. California Regional Water Quality Control Board No. D060382 (2012 DJDAR 16050) (4th Dist., Div. 1) (November 30, 2012) Surfrider challenged the RWQCB issuance of a NPDES permit to Poseidon to operate a coastal desalinization plant. The State … Continue reading

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City and Regents’ housing project in drought-prone area failed to satisfy CEQA where the project description omitted required LAFCO approval and the alternatives omitted reduced-water considerations.

Habitat and Watershed Caretakers v. City of Santa Cruz (H037545) 2012 DJDAR 15945 (6th Dist.) (November 27, 2012) Santa Cruz has struggled to supply adequate amounts of water to its residents during dry years. The city is just starting to … Continue reading

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Court finds zoning administrator’s approval of Wal-Mart Supercenter is a zoning decision subject to 90-day statute of limitation.

Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton No. C067164 (012 DJDAR 15431)(3rd Dist.)(November 13, 2012) A citizens group filed an action challenging the city of Stockton’s claim of categorical exemption when approving a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The group filed … Continue reading

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Court finds RWQCB violated law by issuing permit to dairies in Central Valley to dispose of waste to groundwater without first making findings that such discharge complied with the state’s anti-degradation policy.

Associacion de Gente Unida por el Agua v. Central Valley Regional Quality Control Board. No. C066410 (2012 DJDAR 15291) (3rd Dist.) (November 6, 2012) In 2007, the RWQCB issued for the first time waste discharge requirements for existing dairies in … Continue reading

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Court rules city’s adoption of a project proposed in an initiative (without an election) was a discretionary act requiring CEQA compliance.

Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court No. F063849 (5th Dist.) (2012 DJDAR 15078)(October 30, 2012) Wal-Mart sought to expand its store into a Supercenter and submitted an application to the city of Sonora for approval. The city … Continue reading

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Neighbor gets whacked for rogue tree trimmer.

Rony v. Costa No. A128836 (1st Dist., Div. 1) 2012 DJDAR 14945 October 26, 2012 Defendant neighbor never saw it coming. He hired someone to trim some overhanging growth from a neighbor’s yard to create space for smoke and heat … Continue reading

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Court affirms Regional Water Board’s fines under Clean Water Act for sediment-laden stormwater discharge to ephemeral drainage with hydrologic connection to navigable water.

Garland v. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board No. C067130 (2012 DJDAR 14745) (October 24, 2012) A regional water board fined Garland, through an Administrative Civil Liability order, for discharging sediment-laden water into an ephemeral stream without a permit. … Continue reading

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Court finds flaws in Fannita Ranch EIR for failure to specify mitigation guidelines or explain questions about water supply.

Preserve Wild Santee v. City of Santee No. B231411 (2012 DJDAR 14541) (4th Dist., Div. 1) (October 19, 2012) Various groups challenged the EIR for the proposed Fannita Ranch project in Santee. They successfully argued to the trial court that … Continue reading

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Irrigation District’s agreement with tribe to supply water for casino did not meet the small construction project exemption under CEQA, and the District could not ignore a LAFCO water limitation by calling it unconstitutional.

Voices for Rural Living v. El Dorado Irrigation District No. C064280 (2012 DJDAR 13777 (October 4, 2012) An Irrigation District and tribe made an agreement for a large amount of water to be piped to at tribe to support a … Continue reading

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CEQA’s statute of limitations begins when the project is approved, not 35 days after a Notice of Exemption is filed when the filing occurs before the approval.

Coalition for Clean Air v. City of Visalia. No. F062983 (2012 DJDAR 13043) (5th Dist.)(September 14, 2012) Visalia approved a large facility without environmental review after filing a notice that the project was exempt from CEQA. Petitioners challenged such claim, … Continue reading

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