Limiting America’s Cup Impacts on San Francisco Bay & Air Quality

In preparation for San Francisco’s hosting of the 2013 the America’s Cup, Piers 27 & 29 were slated to be demolished and rehabilitated to make way for a new two-story cruise terminal. However, the EIR associated with the project showed that the air quality impacts would be significant, in part because cruise ships would have to rely on diesel fuel for power while the piers were rebuilt. Thanks to the analysis and disclosure required by the...

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Protecting Groundwater from Landfill Pollution

In 1994 the San Gabriel Groundwater Basin was in danger of pollution from an unlined landfill proposed by the Azusa Land Reclamation Company. Despite evidence that the landfill would pollute the groundwater basin, no CEQA review was conducted in the approval process. Concerned citizens, including elected officials, and local municipal water districts sued to prevent the project from going forward without mitigation measures. In 1997 the court...

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Protecting the Central Valley’s Fertile Agricultural Lands

California’s Central Valley contains some of the richest agricultural lands in the world. In 2004, the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) approved the City of Stockton’s application to amend its sphere of influence to allow for development of 5,400 acres of agricultural land north of Stockton. Concerned that the City had not analyzed the devastating impact that sprawling development would have on agriculture, the...

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Preserving Valuable Timberland in the Sierras

Recognizing the need to ensure the long-term viability of the timber industry, the Legislature established the “Timberland Production Zoning” designation, allowing owners of TPZ lands tax relief between timber harvests. In 2008, Lassen County approved the rezoning of nearly 5,500 acres of TPZ lands owned by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) to allow non-timber uses, without fully reviewing the potential impacts of the rezoning, including the...

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Securing Mitigation from Dow Chemical in Pittsburg

The City of Pittsburg’s Planning Commission approved a plan by Dow Chemical to rebuild a pesticide plant without requiring the company to prepare an EIR. The plant was intended to expand an existing facility and was designed to triple production. The City argued that the project fell under the “reconstruction or replacement” exemption under CEQA, but non-profit organizations Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and the Pesticide Action...

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Requiring Sand and Gravel Quarries to Reduce Impacts on Local Community

The town of Forestville, a quaint, rural community in the Russian River area of Sonoma County, is also home to two large sand and gravel quarries. When Sonoma County approved substantial expansions of both quarries at the same time, residents of Forestville had only CEQA to protect them from the significant truck traffic, dust, air pollution, and noise that would result. Before litigation was filed, residents worked out a “good neighbor”...

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