Environmental Review

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis 2040 Plan Could Proceed Under New Law

A state law awaiting the governor’s signature could exempt comprehensive plans from environmental review, freeing the plan from recent lawsuits.

May 21, 2024 - Minnesota Reformer

Google street view of American Avenue overpass over Highway 99 in Fresno, California.

Transportation Secretary Orders Review of Fresno Highway Project

The decision follows a lawsuit by local groups who say Caltrans should not have exempted two interchange expansions from environmental review.

January 17, 2024 - Fresnoland

Empty navy blue camping chair with small American flag in front of unhoused encampment in People's Park, Berkeley, California.

UC Berkeley Says Supportive Housing ‘Inseparable’ Part of People’s Park Project

The park remains closed to the public as a court weighs a decision on the university’s proposed housing development.

January 12, 2024 - KQED

"Environmentall sensitive area" sign on rustic wooden fence with tall green grass in background.

Misuse of Environmental Laws Betrays Their Intent

How laws written to protect natural resources and biodiversity are being reinterpreted by NIMBY groups to block development.

October 24, 2023 - Governing

Modernist light brown cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles, California.

Los Angeles Diocese Says ‘Yes in God’s Backyard’

A new California state bill lets churches and other faith-based institutions bypass environmental reviews for proposed affordable housing on their properties.

October 18, 2023 - Episcopal News Service

Close-up of Caltrans logo on white passenger train

Caltrans Demotes Official Who Challenged Road Expansion Projects

An employee was reassigned after bringing up concerns about highway projects that she alleges improperly skirted environmental review.

October 8, 2023 - Politico

Close-up of top of California state capitol dome with U.S. and California flags flying and blue sky in background.

California Housing Bills Streamline Affordable Housing

A series of current and proposed bills are paving the way for more affordable housing production in the state, where environmental laws are often deployed to delay or block new development.

September 20, 2023 - CALmatters

Aerial view of UC Berkeley campus with Campanile tower

New California Law Alters CEQA in Favor of Student Housing

Following a heated legal battle over new student housing in Berkeley, Governor Newsom signed a new law removing ‘social noise’ as an environmental impact.

September 11, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

An oil well in a mountainous and remote part of Utah.

Utah Oil Shale Extraction Dealt Major Setback

The Surface Transportation Board's approval in 2021 of a proposed 85-mile Uinta Basin Railway in Utah that would have enabled increased extraction of the world's largest source of oil shale was partially vacated by a federal appeals court last month.

September 3, 2023 - Progressive Railroading

Brick "USC University of Southenr California"  sign at entrance to campus

Berkeley Noise Pollution Precedent Blocks Los Angeles Housing

Opponents to a new university housing project cited a recent Berkeley case in which noise pollution was successfully used to deny an exemption from environmental review.

August 17, 2023 - The Daily Californian

A group of cyclists rides on a green painted bike line on the Embarcadero in Sa Francisco.

Report: Sustainable Transportation Proposals Face Costly, ‘Time-Consuming’ Environmental Studies

In another blow to California’s Environmental Quality Act, a new analysis shows that many green transportation projects are delayed or halted by an expensive, onerous review process and the threat of lawsuits.

April 14, 2022 - San Francisco Examiner

Wastewater California

What Is CEQA?

Designed to assess the environmental impacts of new projects and provide mitigation measures, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has a controversial history, sometimes serving as a convenient tool for groups intent on stopping or slowing development.

March 16, 2022 - Diana Ionescu

UC Berkeley

U.C. Berkeley To Reduce Enrollment by Thousands, Court Decides

The California Supreme Court ruled against the university in a battle over a proposed enrollment cap, forcing the school to reject thousands of potential new students.

March 3, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

Berkeley Hills Bay Area

State Bill Seeks CEQA Exemption for California Universities

A bill introduced in the California legislature would allow public universities to bypass environmental review regulations for student housing projects.

February 27, 2022 - Los Angeles Times

Metro Train Station

Lawmaker Proposes Permanent Environmental Review Exemptions for Transit Projects

A 2020 law that exempts transit, bike, and pedestrian projects from California's strict environmental review process could become permanent.

February 15, 2022 - SFBay

Public Meeting Speaker

The Consequences of Community Engagement

Long, onerous environmental review processes focused on public input can cause major delays and cost increases for infrastructure and transportation projects.

September 9, 2021 - Governing

Highway Construction

How the Environmental Review Process Privileges Highway Construction Over Transit

U.S. transit projects have a much harder time getting environmental approval than road projects, perpetuating the dominance of cars in U.S. transportation policy.

August 25, 2021 - Slate

View south along Interstate 45 (North Freeway) from the ramp between westbound Interstate 10 and southbound Interstate 45 in Houston, Harris County, Texas

TxDOT Faces Lawsuit from Harris County Over I-45 Plan

The lawsuit over the controversial I-45 project, which has been plagued by local opposition, calls for a new environmental review.

March 15, 2021 - Houston Chronicle

San Francisco Gutter

New Rule Allows States to Bypass NEPA in Favor of State Regulations

Under certain circumstances, states can conduct environmental reviews under state rather than federal regulations.

January 20, 2021 - Progressive Railroading

Pennsylvania

Lawsuit Challenges PennDOT's NEPA Process on Erie Bayfront Parkway

Despite 80% of survey respondents wanting a reduction in volume on Erie's waterfront parkway and improved pedestrian and bicycle access to the city's waterfront, PennDOT plans instead to double traffic as part of a $120 million high-speed bypass.

December 24, 2020 - Earth Justice

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