We provide ongoing advice to public agency and private clients regarding the environmental review required for public and private projects. We frequently advise on the use of exemptions and existing environmental documents to streamline environmental review. In addition, we review Environmental Impact Reports, negative declarations, and other environmental documents for adequacy, including emerging issues of greenhouse gases, toxic air pollutants, climate change and adaptation, and water supply, and draft findings to support the public agency’s decision. Although our goal when working with clients on CEQA issues is to provide the strongest defensible record in the hopes of avoiding the cost and time delays associated with CEQA, we also defend our clients when CEQA challenges are brought, including issues related to the appropriate level of CEQA review as well as the sufficiency of the environmental analysis. Recent cases include Cedar Fair L.P. v. City of Santa Clara, where we successfully defended the term sheet between the San Francisco 49ers and the City of Santa Clara from a CEQA challenge; and Housing Authority of the City of Sacramento V. Greenfair Homeowners Association, where we litigated CEQA issues involved in eminent domain. We remain at the forefront of recent climate change and other environmental legislation including SB 375 and understand its effects on the CEQA and development streamlining process.
Many of the firm’s clients rely upon federal funding for completion of development projects. The firm’s attorneys are familiar with and provide advice to clients on compliance with NEPA as part of obtaining the necessary funding. In that capacity we have advised clients on the necessary level of NEPA review (whether categorical exclusion, FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact), or EIS (Environmental Impact Statement)); the preparation of the NEPA documents and completion of required NEPA studies; and the timing of obtaining NEPA review to insure timely funding of the development project.