Insights
Publications

How New Climate Change CEQA Thresholds Will Impact Bay Area Development Projects

September 22, 2022 Webinar
CJ Higley and Don Sobelman

Farella's CJ Higley and Donald Sobelman with guest speakers, Michael Keinath from Ramboll and Tania Sheyner from City and County of San Francisco, discuss "How New Climate Change CEQA Thresholds Will Impact Bay Area Development Projects." 

On April 20, 2022, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) adopted, updated – and significantly changed – thresholds of significance under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for determining when a development project will have significant climate change/greenhouse gas impacts. Given that the BAAQMD thresholds are relied upon by many cities and other CEQA lead agencies in the Bay Area, this update will have a major impact on the environmental review process for many development projects in the region. Join our panel, as we discuss:

  • The new BAAQMD thresholds – how are they different?
  • Interaction with climate action plans and CEQA thresholds implemented by Bay Area cities.
  • Strategies for addressing the new BAAQMD thresholds in development projects.
  • Pros/cons of using alternative thresholds, including CEQA litigation risk.
  • Insights from a number of Bay Area development perspectives, including from attorneys (both real estate and environmental), a city planner, and a consultant specializing in CEQA greenhouse gas/air quality impact assessment.

Firm Highlights

Publication

Achieving Compatibility Between Solar Project Developers and Mineral Estate Holders

By Dirk R. Mueller , Alyssa Netto , and Will Russ Texas and California lead the country in terms of solar energy generating capacity while also maintaining major oil and gas production operations, which...

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News

Housing Action Coalition and Farella Braun + Martel File Lawsuit Challenging the City of San Mateo’s Housing Element

Today, the Housing Action Coalition (HAC) and Farella Braun + Martel LLP filed a lawsuit against the City of San Mateo, challenging its recently adopted Housing Element in order to make the city comply with...

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News

San Mateo signed off on its housing element this week. It's already facing a lawsuit.

Farella's Tom Mayhew, CJ Higley, Daniel Contreras, Vanessa Ing, and Alyssa Netto were mentioned in the Daily Journal article "San Mateo signed off on its housing element this week. It's already facing a lawsuit."...

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Publication

New PFAS Listing Under Superfund Will Lead to Major Expansion of Liability

On April 19, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced its final rule designating perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances under Section 102(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation...

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News

EPA Designates PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances

Don Sobelman provided expert commentary in the  Chemical & Engineering News article "EPA Designates PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances." Excerpt from the article: Lawyers are warning anyone purchasing an industrial site where PFOA...

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News

City of San Mateo Sued by Nonprofit Over New Housing Plan

Tom Mayhew spoke to CBS News about the lawsuit filed by Housing Action Coalition (HAC) and Farella against the City of San Mateo. The lawsuit challenges the city's recently adopted Housing Element in order to...

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Publication

Where Are We Now, Following Maui County, Sackett, and the Latest EPA Guidance?

The last few years have seen significant developments in our understanding of the reach of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). (Indeed, “reach” here can be interpreted literally and figuratively.) The two issues plaguing...

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Publication

AB 1633: The Housing Accountability Act

The Housing Accountability Act (HAA) requires local agencies to approve housing projects that meet objective zoning, general plan, subdivision, and design standards unless there is a specific, adverse impact upon public health and safety...

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News

Lawdragon Names 7 Farella Lawyers Among “Leaders in Environmental Law”

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that seven lawyers were selected to The Lawdragon Green 500: 2024 Leaders in Environmental Law . Farella lawyers selected for inclusion: Sarah...

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Publication

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Passes Housing Fee Reform Legislation

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors took the first of two votes to approve housing fee reform legislation last week. The legislation reduces by as much as a third the affordable housing fees and...

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