In what might be a surprising decision in any other Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling in Barnes v. U.S. Dept. of Transportation, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Case No. 10-70718, August 25, 2011, which, while narrow, begins the process of eroding both the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) long held position that “aviation activity . . . will increase at the same rate regardless of whether a new runway is built or not,” Barnes, at 16285, and the Federal Court’s traditional deference to it. City of Los Angeles v. FAA, 138 F.3d 806, 807-08, n. 2 (9th Cir. 1998).Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Calls FAA to Task on Environmental Impacts of New Runway
Pittsfield Township, Michigan, through the law firm Chevalier Allen & Lichman, LLP submitted its comments on the draft Environmental Assessment prepared for the proposed lengthening of the main runway at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport. Although the AIrport is entirely located in Pittsfield Township, the airport is owned by the City of Ann Arbor. In addition, Chevalier…
The Council on Environmental Quality, on February 18, 2010, proposed three substantive steps to “modernize and reinvigorate” the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). According to Nancy Sutley, the Chair of the White House-based CEQ, these measures “will assist Federal agencies to meet the goals of NEPA, enhance the quality of public involvement in governmental decisions relating to the environment, increase transparency and ease implementation.”
These three steps include when and how Federal agencies must consider greenhouse gas emissions and climate change in their proposed actions; clarifying appropriateness of “Findings of No Significant Impact” and specifying when there is a need to monitor environmental mitigation commitments; and clarifying use of categorical exclusions. The CEQ is requesting public comment on all three of the draft guidances.
The Effects of Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Must be Considered in the NEPA Process
Perhaps the most critical element to this modernization of the NEPA process is the CEQ’s draft guidance on when and how Federal agencies must consider greenhouse gas emissions and climate change in their proposed actions. According to the CEQ:Continue Reading CEQ’s Steps to Modernize and Reinvigorate NEPA Includes Reporting on Climate Change Effects of Federal Actions
On 40th Anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Jim Tankersley of the Los Angeles Times wrote that
The White House is poised to order all federal agencies to evaluate any major actions they take, such as building highways or logging national forests, to determine how they would contribute to and be affected…