Almost 60% of lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act challenge environmental review projects in infill locations as opposed to greenfield locations, according to a new analysis of 95 recent cases by two lawyers at Holland & Knight.
The new analysis comes on the heels of three other recent studies concluding that CEQA actions are struck down by courts between 40-60% of the time, compared to virtually zero for NEPA.
Mixed-use projects and infrastructure projects were challenged more frequently than any other type of project. Most of the EIRs were challenged on the basis of water supply, traffic, or air quality.
The study by veteran CEQA hands Jennifer Hernandez and Daniel Golub also concluded that about 70% of the plaintiffs in these cases were local organizations, most frequently environmental or homeowner groups. About two-thirds of the projects were private development projects, while a third were public projects.