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MCLE: Practitioners’ Roundtable, Evaluating GHG Impacts of CEQA


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A Roundtable Discussion
Evaluating greenhouse gas and climate impacts under CEQA is an issue that continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The California Supreme Court has issued two recent decisions on the issue, 2015’s Center for Biological Diversity v. Cal. Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife (Newhall Ranch) and 2017’s Cleveland Nat’l Forest Found. v. SANDAG. ARB has updated its Scoping Plan to lay out a path towards achieving the state’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets. The OPR is about to finalize its revisions to the State CEQA Guidelines. And the BAAQMD is in the process of updating its GHG Thresholds of Significance for lead agencies to use in evaluating climate impacts. Yet, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty on how best to address this issue from a legal and practical standpoint. This practitioner-focused roundtable discussion will explore various approaches for evaluating greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts in this rapidly evolving area of the law.

• Alternatives for evaluating climate impacts under the Supreme Court’s Newhall Ranch decision
• Evaluating a project’s consistency with ARB’s recent 2030 Scoping Plan
• What to do about the 2050 GHG reduction target in light of the Supreme Court’s SANDAG decision
• How the BAAQMD is proposing to address these issues in its Thresholds of Significance