Requiring Scrutiny of Controversial Water Privatization Project

In 2003, the City of Stockton approved a $600 million contract privatizing the City’s water utilities for a twenty year period. The contract ceded virtually all operational and managerial control of the City’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities to the British company OMI/Thames. Community and environmental groups challenged the City’s claim that the project was exempt from CEQA. Once the City was forced to evaluate the...

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Protecting Rich Biological Resources in San Diego’s Backcountry

San Diego County has more biodiversity than any other county in North America and is among the top 10 biodiversity regions on earth. Given these extraordinary resources, a local environmental organization became alarmed when San Diego County proposed to rezone 200,000 acres of land in its rural “backcountry.”  During the environmental review process, the County neglected to analyze the impacts that this massive rezoning program would have on...

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Preserving Open Space and Protecting Communities

CEQA was successfully used to prevent the abuse of a project approval for a development project in East Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles granted approval to Monterey Hills Investors to develop on Elephant Hill in the 1980s. By 2003 the project size had grown so substantially that the City required the developer prepare a new EIR. The developer in turn filed suit contesting the requirement. Residents of the downhill community of El Sereno...

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Preserving a Precious Resource in the Suisun Valley

Rockville Trails, with its breathtaking views of Suisun Valley, epitomizes the rural character and quiet splendor of Solano County. Filled with stands of 800-year-old blue and live oaks, vernal pools, wildflowers and wildlife, Rockville Trails’ 1,500 acres have been eyed for decades by developers hungry to cash in on Solano County’s real estate boom. In 2008, the County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to build a 370-unit subdivision on the...

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Protecting Open Space Surrounded by Two Regional Parks

Surrounded by two regional parks, Barham Ranch has been a favorite destination for hikers and bird-watchers for over 100 years. This 509-acre parcel has spectacular views and is covered with majestic oaks, sage and wildflowers; it includes the most extensive willow woodlands in all of Orange County. In 1999, when the property owners, the Serrano Water District and Orange Unified School District, supported selling Barham Ranch to a developer...

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Improving Public Transit: The San Francisco Ferry Expansion Plan

Looking for opportunities to relieve congestion on Bay Area bridges and develop a comprehensive plan for managing population – and commuter – growth in the San Francisco Bay Area, the State of California created a new regional agency to plan for and manage expanded ferry service in the region. When the initial EIR for the expanded service plan was released, community members and conservationists were concerned that it did not adequately analyze...

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