Santa Susana Field Laboratory Cleanup - On October 6, 2022, on behalf of Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Lozeau Drury filed suit against the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Boeing. The lawsuit alleges that a secret agreement between Boeing and DTSC to dramatically weaken the cleanup standards at the severely polluted Santa Susana Field Laboratory site violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The lawsuit seeks an order to vacate the cleanup agreement, which drastically relaxes key cleanup requirements and frees Boeing from toxic stormwater discharge requirements. Read more here.
Representing the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), Lozeau Drury reached a final settlement with the City of Lompoc over ongoing violations of the federal Clean Water Act caused by the City’s municipal wastewater treatment facility. The settlement will force the City to comply with its permit requirements under the Clean Water Act, including monitoring and studying to ensure that the facility’s discharges comply with the permit’s toxicity requirements, and also requires the City to pay $260,000 to the Rose Foundation for the purpose of providing grants for restoration projects in the Santa Ynez watershed. Read more here.
On August 16, 2022, on behalf of Friends of the Eel River, Lozeau Drury filed a notice of FOER's intent to file suit against Humboldt County for failing to protect the public trust uses of the Lower Eel River from the adverse effects of groundwater extractions. Groundwater pumping for irrigation in the Eel River Valley Groundwater Water Basin has contributed to an unprecedented reduction in surface flows along the Lower Eel River, resulting in adverse effects on salmon migration and other public trust uses. The lawsuit would seek an order compelling the County to eliminate these impacts by developing a management plan to restrict groundwater extraction.
Interior Board of Land Appeals Issues Ruling in Favor of Friends of the North Coast, setting aside approval for flawed parking lot development. In July 2021 Friends of the North Coast, the Davenport North Coast Association and Rural Bonny Doon Association, represented by Lozeau Drury LLP, filed an appeal of two implementation actions included in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) approval of a Resource Management Plan Amendment for the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument Area. The appeal alleged that BLM failed to perform the required level of NEPA analysis for the two proposed parking developments, for one of which the Trust for Public Land had previously denied a key easement due to potential adverse impacts on the surrounding agricultural land. On August 31, 2022, the IBLA ruled in favor of Appellants and set aside BLM’s approval.
Representing California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Lozeau Drury Files Clean Water Act Complaint Against Clover Flat Landfill. On August 16, 2022 Lozeau Drury filed a complaint against Defendant, Clover Flat Land Fill Inc., a landfill located in the hills above St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The complaint alleges that polluted stormwater is being discharged to an adjacent stream that flows into the Napa River, which is in violation of the facility's waste discharge permit issued under the federal Clean Water Act. The suit is seeking to stop the violation, and assess penalties against the landfill. Read more here.
Representing Community Science Institute, Lozeau Drury Reaches a Settlement to Improve the Safety of Infant Formula Products. On January 27, 2022, Judge Frank Roesch signed and entered a Consent Judgment between Plaintiffs CSI and the California Attorney General and Defendants Perrigo Company, a manufacturer of infant and toddler formula products. In 2017, CSI filed a lawsuit against Perrigo after testing indicated lead in certain formula products at levels that exceeded the Proposition 65 warning threshold. Following CSI's suit, the Attorney General filed a related case involving the same products, as well as others. The settlement sets maximum lead levels of 5-7 parts per billion, which is far lower than applicable guidance levels established for this type of product by any U.S. regulation. Read more about the settlement in Attorney General Rob Bonta's press release.
Judge Rules in Favor of California Native Plant Society, Throwing out an EIR for a Risky Luxury Development. In a win for the environment and public safety, Judge J. David Markman ruled in favor of California Native Plant Society, represented by Lozeau Drury, and Center for Biological Diversity and the California Attorney General. The lawsuit challenged Lake County's approval of the Guenoc Valley luxury resort development, which would place more than 4,000 new residents on a 16,000-acre project site with plans to build five hotels, residential "estate villas," a golf course, polo fields and equestrian areas, among other facilities. The proposed site has burned twice in the last seven years, yet the EIR did not analyze the Project's impacts on evacuations in the surrounding community in the event of another wildfire.
In reaction to the ruling, California Attorney General, Rob Bonta noted that, “We can’t keep making shortsighted land use decisions that will have impacts decades down the line. We must build responsibly. This is a win for current and future residents of Lake County, who can rest easier knowing that this project will only move forward if the developer takes proactive steps to ensure their safe evacuation if and when a wildfire occurs.”
Legacy Asbestos - Richard Drury of Lozeau Drury, and Robert Sussman or Sussman & Associates, filed a complaint against the U.S. EPA on behalf of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, and several other nonprofit environmental and health advocacy groups, seeking a court order to compel the EPA to evaluate the risks of “legacy asbestos”. The complaint alleges that the EPA is violating the Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA") in failing to evaluate legacy asbestos risks. Asbestos, a known carcinogen, is still present in building materials in schools, factories, public buildings, commercial businesses, apartment buildings and residences, and continues to pose a serious risk of cancer and other diseases. Read more here.
Sid Commons Apartment Project - Rebecca Davis represents Save North Petaluma River and Wetlands in its legal challenge to the City of Petaluma’s approval of the Sid Commons Apartment Project. The suit alleges that the City of Petaluma failed to adequately analyze and mitigate the environmental impacts of the project, which is located on wetlands at one of the most ecologically sensitive parts of the Petaluma River. The suit also contends that the City approved a different project from what was analyzed in the environmental review process, and that the project as approved would have insufficiently mitigated impacts including irreversible harm to wetlands and wildlife, unsafe traffic conditions, and dangerous indoor air quality emissions from building materials containing formaldehyde. Read more here.
Coachella Valley Arena – Lozeau Drury recently filed comments raising concerns about the potential environmental impacts of a planned hockey arena in the Coachella Valley area of Riverside County. As currently proposed, the 44-acre project could result in substantial impacts to air pollution, traffic and wildlife, as well as increase the demand for water and electricity in the hot, dry desert climate. The project site was originally designed in 2006 as a golf course with hotels and high-density residential units, and the environmental impacts of an arena which would host hockey games, concerts and other events were not analyzed. Read more here and here.
Longfin Smelt – Michael Lozeau is representing San Francisco Baykeeper in its legal effort to add the Longfin Smelt as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The species, observed largely in the Alviso Marsh in Lower South San Francisco Bay, is on the brink of extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed in 2012 that the smelt warranted listing as an endangered species, but nine years later, has still not completed the listing process. Read more here.
Richard Drury Quoted in San Francisco Business Times – Richard Drury was quoted in an article written about the City of San Francisco’s effort to bypass CEQA review for certain development projects via a “streamlining” process which would curtail the imposition of legally-required measures to mitigate a project’s impact on the environment. The Sierra Club, as well as several neighborhood groups, joined in opposition to the proposed “standard conditions” ordinance, which would severely limit public comment on certain proposed projects. Read the full article here.
Vista Mar Project – Lozeau Drury is representing a neighborhood group in a lawsuit challenging the City of Pacifica’s approval of a residential project on a steep hillside in Pacifica. The suit alleges that the City failed to conduct a proper analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the project, including irreversible harm to wetlands and endangered species, and increased risk for erosion and landslides in a known flood zone. The suit also alleges that the City improperly relied on a 40-year old General Plan for its environmental analysis of the project, and failed to impose legally-required measures to mitigate the project’s impacts. Read more here.
New Deal WPA Murals at UCSF Saved – Lozeau Drury played an instrumental role in saving from destruction priceless murals at the Parnassus Campus of the UCSF School of Medicine. One of the medical school buildings is slated to be demolished in 2022, and UCSF administrators had initially suggested that the New Deal-era murals commissioned by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) may have been too expensive to move. However, at the urging of historians, artists, and preservationists, and after actions including federal agency intervention and Lozeau Drury’s own direct request to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, UCSF agreed to remove the murals and store them prior to the building’s demolition. Read the full article here.
Guenoc Valley Mixed Use Planned Development – Rebecca Davis represents the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) in a legal challenge alleging that Lake County’s approval of 16,000-acre Guenoc Valley luxury development violated CEQA's substantive and procedural requirements. The suit alleges that Lake County failed to adequately analyze, disclose, and mitigate the project's impacts on a variety of special status species and habitats. In addition, the suit alleges that the County failed to analyze and mitigate the project's wildfire and evacuation risks despite the project being located in a high-risk fire area that has experienced numerous devastating wildfires in the past. The California State Attorney General joined in the effort to challenge the project by intervening in a related case brought by the Center for Biological Diversity. Read the full articles here and here.
Times Mirror Square Project – Lozeau Drury has a long history of representing non-profit organizations in their desire for clean, safe jobs that are good for the environment. The firm recently challenged the Los Angeles City Council’s approval of two high-rise towers proposed for the Times Mirror Square property in downtown Los Angeles, citing the impact of thousands of bird collisions, air pollution from construction equipment, and the City’s failure to properly analyze the project’s impacts to the historical resources present at the Times, Plant, Mirror, and Executive buildings. Read the full article here.
Richard Drury Quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle – Richard Drury was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle about the City of San Francisco’s ongoing and illegal practice of exempting projects from CEQA review despite the project site being on the Cortese List. Read the full articles here and here.
Hillside School – Rebecca Davis represented a group of neighbors in Berkeley, California in an attempt to keep public a path and playground that had been used by the public for more than 93 years. An article in the Daily Cal about this matter can be downloaded here.
Proposition 65 Cases – Lozeau Drury maintains an active docket of enforcement actions under Proposition 65, California’s toxic exposure warning law. Currently, the firm is involved in cases on behalf of Environmental Research Center and Stop Syar Expansion. Cases for ERC are focused on nutritional supplements and protein powders that contain alarming levels of lead and, sometimes cadmium. The case on behalf of Stop Syar Expansion addresses exposure of harmful levels of diesel exhaust to local residents.
Clean Water Act Enforcement – Lozeau Drury continues to represent numerous citizen groups in bringing cases to enforce violations of the Clean Water Act, often with respect to the Act’s storm water pollution requirements. Currently representing the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Environmental Defense Center, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, San Francisco Baykeeper, Orange County Coastkeeper, the Center For Community Action And Environmental Justice, and the Center for Biological Diversity, and Communities for a Better Environment, Lozeau Drury addresses water pollution from a wide assortment of industrial facilities in San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, Santa Barbara, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County. Types of facilities include an oil and gas field, recycling facilities, refuse transfer stations, landfills, concrete manufacturers, and plastics facilities.
Central SOMA Plan – Richard Drury worked on behalf of Central SOMA Neighbors to make major modifications to San Francisco’s biggest rezoning in nearly a decade, the proposed Central SOMA Plan. Read more about the changes Mr. Drury advocated for in this San Francisco Chronicle Article.
Richard Drury Quoted in Santa Rosa Press Democrat – Richard Drury was interviewed by the Press Democrat about the proposed Santa Rosa Resilient City Ordinance which would streamline the approval process for certain development projects around the City, allowing the projects to be built without CEQA review. Mr. Drury reiterated to the Press Democrat the concerns he raised in front of the Santa Rosa City council that the original proposal was an overreach. While it is appropriate for the city to take extraordinary measures to make it easier for people to rebuild in areas impacted by the 2017 fires, it is inappropriate to limit CEQA review for projects outside of those areas. Read the full article here.
South Mountain Oil & Gas Field – In 2017, Lozeau Drury reached a settlement agreement in a Clean Water Act citizen suit on behalf of the Environmental Defense Center against California Resources Production Corporation (“CRPC”), California’s largest oil producer. The agreement requires CRPC to implement controls at its drilling pads, access roads, and other pollution sources to reduce the contaminants in its runoff. The settlement also helps facilitate the eventual transfer of CRPC surface access rights at a large Southern California property to be acquired by The Trust for Public Land for permanent conservation, thereby eliminating potential new oil development activities on almost all of the property and reducing future threats to water quality.
Mariposa Wastewater Treatment Facility – In 2016, Lozeau Drury represented Friends of Mariposa Creek and Sarah Windsor in a Clean Water Act action seeking to reduce pollution emanating from Mariposa County’s Wastewater Treatment Facility. The matter resulted in a Consent Decree that will require the Mariposa Public Utility District to upgrade its facility to include tertiary treatment.
Restore Hetch Hetchy– Situated inside Yosemite National Park, the Hetch Hetchy Valley was described by John Muir as “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.” In 1913, Congress passed the Raker Act permitting San Francisco to build a dam in Yosemite National Park’s spectacular Hetch Hetchy Valley. On behalf of Restore Hetch Hetchy, Lozeau Drury brought a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco, alleging that the damming and flooding of the Hetch Hetchy Valley constitutes an unreasonable method of diversion of water in violation of Article X, Section 2 of the California Constitution. The lawsuit is currently on appeal in the Fifth District of the California Court of Appeal. Read KQED’s Coverage of the Lawsuit.
Los Angeles Subway Project – In 2013, Lozeau Drury represented a downtown Los Angeles property owner regarding the failure of Federal Transportation Authorities (and Metropolitan Transit Corporation) to evaluate a full tunneling option for the new subway line being planned for downtown LA. The plan called for opening large stretches of one of the main downtown thoroughfares – Flower Street – resulting in significant traffic and air pollution impacts despite the feasibility of tunneling construction methods, which had been planned for most of the project. On May 29, 2014, The U.S. District Court in LA ruled in favor of Lozeau Drury’s clients, holding that the EIS prepared for the tunneling project violated NEPA by failing to address the construction alternative with the fewest impacts to traffic, air pollution, and risks to adjacent buildings. Read the Court’s ruling
Google Buses – Google Buses – In 2014 Lozeau Drury represented several groups concerned about the impact that the so-called “Google Buses” were having on traffic and skyrocketing rents in San Francisco. The buses transported workers from San Francisco to their workplaces in Silicon Valley which included Google, Apple, and other high-tech businesses, and were using public City bus stops which resulted in significant impacts to traffic. On May 1, 2014, Lozeau Drury filed suit on behalf of its clients against the City of San Francisco, alleging that the use of City bus stops by the “Google Buses” had not been adequately reviewed under CEQA and the California Vehicle Code.. Read the Press Release, Petition, and News Article
Lake Tahoe Fireworks In December 2013, a courageous couple – Joan and Joe Truxler – retained Lozeau Drury to bring a case under the federal Clean Water Act to address trash and debris from the July 4th and Labor Day fireworks events in south Lake Tahoe. Some of the largest fireworks events in the western United States, Joan had spent the previous year picking up fireworks debris all along the beach near their home in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. Her efforts to get various agencies to address the problem were unsuccessful. The complaint, field in December 2013, alleged that the shows’ sponsor, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, and its operator, Pyro Spectaculars North America, were required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit prior to discharging debris and chemicals, including perchlorate, from mortars and barges into Lake Tahoe. In March 2014, the Truxlers reached an out-of-court settlement, resulting in additional beach clean-up efforts after the shows and a hot line for beach-goers to report debris to be cleaned up. Read more
UC Berkeley’s Richmond Campus – In January 2014, Lozeau Drury prepared comments on behalf of several Richmond-based community and interfaith groups identifying the displacement threats to people living in adjacent neighborhoods of the new campus and 1,000 new workers. The University is now reviewing those and other comments as they refine the proposed new campus. Read the comments here.
Lumber Liquidators – On July 23, 2014, Lozeau Drury filed a case under California’s preeminent toxic warning statute – the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly referred to as Proposition 65. Brought on behalf of Global Community Monitor and Sunshine Park LLC, the case cited Lumber Liquidators with selling numerous laminate flooring products that emit the known-carcinogen formaldehyde without having warned consumers of their potential exposures to that toxic chemical.
Clean Water Act Enforcement – In 2013 and 2014, Lozeau Drury continued to represent numerous citizen groups in bringing cases to enforce violations of the Clean Water Act’s storm water pollution requirements. Representing CSPA, Global Community Monitors, California Communities Against Toxics, San Francisco Baykeeper, Environmental Defense Center, the Teamsters, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, and the Center For Community Action And Environmental Justice, Lozeau Drury addressed pollution from a wide assortment of industrial facilities in San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, Santa Barbara, Orange County, and Los Angeles including pollution from an oil and gas field, recycling facilities, refuse transfer stations, a trucking facility, scrap yards, and others. Current cases as of August 2014 involve enforcement actions against a rock quarry and several metal recyclers.
Proposition 65 Cases – In 2013 and 2014, Lozeau Drury maintained an active docket of enforcement actions under Proposition 65, California’s toxic exposure warning law. Cases are on behalf of Environmental Research Center, As You Sow, and Global Community Monitors. Several As You Sow cases addressed dangerous exposures to ethylbenzene from various spray varnish products. Cases for ERC focused on nutrition drinks that contain alarming levels of lead.
Protecting the Desert – On behalf of Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility and the Desert Protective Council, on May 21 2013, Lozeau Drury filed a case against the California Parks Department and the Ocotillo State Vehicular Recreation Area. The case alleged that the Department and SVRA abused their discretion by ignoring their duties to maintain off-road vehicle open riding areas in the Park and protect cultural resources in those areas. Lozeau Drury successfully fought off two motions to dismiss the case. Read the Amended Petition
Protecting the Desert Even More – In 2013 and 2014, Lozeau Drury filed numerous comments on power generation projects throughout the desert lands of southern California. A “solar” rush was underway throughout southern California, where numerous solar projects covering tens of thousands of acres of desert lands and farmlands were being constructed or awaiting permits. Lozeau Drury made sure that these project’s considered their adverse effects on wildlife habitat, bird collisions, serious particulate matter pollution during construction, and, in a number of cases, farmland conversions. Lozeau Drury handled comments on several proposed wind turbine projects, which posed serious threats to raptors from collisions. Clients included various locals of the Laborers International Union of North America as well as the Desert Protective Council.
General Industrial Stormwater Permit - In September 2013, Lozeau Drury joined forces with the California Coastkeeper Alliance to draft comments on the latest draft of the California State Water Resources Control Board’s statewide General Industrial Stormwater Permit. The permit is the key tool to protect California’s waters from highly polluted industrial stormwater. Read the comments here
In June 2013, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and the California Water Impact Network won the latest round of their decade-long effort to bring under control almost 30,000 Central Valley farms’ discharges of pesticides, heavy metals, sediments, low oxygen, and other pollutants. On June 14, 2013, Judge Timothy Frawley of the Sacramento Superior Court issued a writ of mandate holding that the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board violated California’s preeminent water quality law – the Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act. The court ruled that the Board’s issuance of a general permit for coalitions of farmers throughout the Central Valley did not comply with the Act’s Antidegradation Policy and its Non-Point Source Control Policy, two of the State’s fundamental water quality protection standards… read decision
In May 2013, Lozeau Drury assisted the Environmental Defense Center in filing and resolving a Clean Water Act lawsuit against Vintage Production California LLC for storm water pollution discharges from its massive Rincon Grub oil and gas field to creeks and the Pacific Ocean… read more January 2013. For the last four years, Lozeau Drury has represented Friends of the West Shore, a group of residents in Lake Tahoe, in their effort to moderate the size of an ambitious expansion plan by the owners of the Homewood Mountain Ski Area. FOWS is concerned that the massive hotel and condominium/townhouse project will overwhelm the small community of Homewood, where many of its members have homes. In January, Judge William Shubb of the federal district court in Sacramento ruled that the environmental documents prepared by Placer County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency did not comply with CEQA and the TRPA Code of Ordinances by arbitrarily excluding consideration of a reduced size alternative for the project. Lozeau Drury was co-counsel on the case with lead counsel Earthjustice… read more read the court decision
On October 10, 2012, Lozeau Drury obtained a unanimous decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal overturning the Nevada District Court and ruling that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) had violated its own code of ordinance in approving a proposed residential development near Stateline, Nevada. The case involved TRPA’s limitations on hard ground coverage, one of the key tools enacted long ago by TRPA to protect Lake Tahoe’s world-renowned clarity. The case found that TRPA failed to substantiate its findings that the Project’s driveway was a public facility warranting additional coverage under the rules…. read decision
In October 2012, Lozeau Drury had the honor of filing an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court supporting the arguments of a non-profit plaintiff in Oregon arguing that discharges of sediment-laden stormwater from industrial logging roads require logging companies to obtain National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permits under the federal Clean Water Act. The amicus brief was filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Information Center, The Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, Rogue Riverkeeper, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Wildlands CPR, and Alliance For The Wild Rockies. Although the Supreme Court upheld EPA’s view that, under a now superseded rule, logging road discharges were excluded from the NPDES permitting program, a more recent rule adopted by EPA on the eve of the Supreme Court’s ruling is being challenged by various environmental organizations.
read the brief
read the Supreme Court decision
In April 2012, The Recorder named Lozeau Drury to its inaugural list of the top ten “Leading Northern California Environmental Law Practice Groups.” Joining a list dominated by large firms like Farella Braun & Martel and Morrison & Foerster, Lozeau Drury and the Natural Resources Defense Council were the only two firms making the cut with practices focused on representing non-profit plaintiffs. As described by the Recorder, “this small Oakland firm punches above its weight, thanks to name partners Michael Lozeau and Richard Drury’s years of expertise in CEQA, as well as clean air and water laws.” Thanks to all of the environmental practitioners who put in a good word for us.
In 2011, Richard Drury was named California Attorney of the Year for Supreme Court victory requiring CEQA review for a diesel project constructed at the ConocoPhillips refinery in Wilmington, California… read more (pdf)
In May 2011, Lozeau Drury negotiated the successful resolution of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Hills Conservation Network against the East Bay Regional Park District resolving HCN’s concerns regarding greenhouse gas emission, visual, and other impacts associated with the Park District’s Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan and its associated environmental impact report…
On May 17, 2011, the Ninth Circuit released its opinion in Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) v. Brown that logging roads where stormwater runoff is collected in systems of ditches, channels, and culverts, then discharged into adjacent rivers unambiguously constitute “point sources” under the Clean Water Act, and such discharges, therefore, require NPDES permits. Lozeau Drury submitted an amicus brief on behalf of NRDC and EPIC in the case…
read the opinion
In April 2011, on behalf of CSPA, Lozeau Drury submitted comments to the State Water Resources Control Board on the update the Draft Industrial General Permit, the Water Board’s proposed update to the existing 14-year old general permit for stormwater discharges associated with industrial facilities in California… read more
In April 2011, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of the Friends of the West Shore, submitted extensive written comments on the Homewood Mountain Resort Ski Area Master Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement. The proposed large-scale resort expansion will have significant impacts on traffic, air pollution, and other environmental impacts in and around the West Shore area. The comments identified numerous environmental issues arising under CEQA, NEPA, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Regional Plan and TRPA’s Code of Ordinances that must be addressed, and sought significant revisions to the Draft EIS… read more
In March and April 2011, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, submitted written comments on the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the City of South Lake Tahoe General Plan Update. The comments addressed the project’s significant air quality impacts, and failure to comply with CEQA, with the TRPA Regional Plan, and with the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact, Lake Tahoe’s governing land use document that empowers the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to establish environmental threshold carrying capacities, a regional plan, and implementing ordinances to protect the Lake’s fragile ecosystem while providing opportunities for orderly growth and development… read more
On January 14, 2011, Lozeau Drury LLP and Meyers Nave filed suit on behalf of the City of Petaluma, Petaluma River Council, Madrone Audubon Society, Friends of Shollenberger Park, Moms for Clean Air, Petaluma Tomorrow, and several individual plaintiffs, against the County of Sonoma, the Dutra Group, and other defendants to challenge the County’s approval of the Dutra asphalt plant, approved for construction on the banks of the Petaluma River, at the entrance to the City of Petaluma and immediately across from Schollenberger Park, a renowned recreational and birdwatching site. The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of CEQA and other land use laws…
read press release
On December 28, 2010, on behalf of the Coalition for Clean Air, Center for Environmental Health, Association of Irritated Residents and Teamsters Joint Council 7, Lozeau Drury LLP filed an action in Tulare County Superior Court challenging the City of Visalia’s approval of a massive 500,000 to 750,000 square foot truck distribution center for highly toxic chemicals and other materials proposed by VWR International, LLC. The lawsuit challenged the City’s failure to conduct environmental and land use reviews for the project under CEQA, the Clean Air Act, and land use laws. The case is currently pending at the California Fifth District Court of Appeal…
In November 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity, represented by Lozeau Drury LLP, settled a CEQA lawsuit against the California Department of Parks and Recreation and other defendants, that challenged the respondents’ failure to prepare an Environmental Impact Report for an off-road vehicle park expansion in the Rock Creek area of the El Dorado National Forest, home to a large number of endangered, threatened, protected and sensitive plant and animal species, including the California Red-Legged Frog, the El Dorado Manzanita, and many others. The project proposed to add 8.9 miles of new off-road vehicle trails to the Rock Creek area, construct 3 bridges, and perform invasive rock blasting, excavation, and other construction “improvements” likely to result in a significant increase in human and vehicle use of the Rock Creek area. As a result of the settlement, reached less than six months after the initial filing of the litigation in July 2010, the Department set aside its project approval and approval of a Negative Declaration, and has agreed to perform CEQA review for the project… read more
On June 13, 2011, Lozeau Drury LLP won a lawsuit on behalf of Parker Shattuck Neighbors challenging the City of Berkeley’s approval of a 155-unit mixed-use Berkeley development project. The City proposed to build the project on a highly contaminated site without any environmental review to ensure protection of future residents. The court held that the City Council improperly amended the project without public hearing and invalidated the project approval. As a result, the community will be able to raise all of its issues to the City and ensure proper environmental remediation and review… read more
In October 2010, on behalf of the Ocean Conservancy, Lozeau Drury presented written CEQA comments to the California Fish and Game Commission supporting proposed modifications to the Commission’s regulations governing marine protected areas off the California coast, which regulations pose to create beneficial effects on aquatic populations in state waters between Point Conception in Santa Barbara County and the California border with Mexico. Following the comment period, final regulations were adopted in December 2010… read news release read more
On September 27, 2010, on behalf of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and the California Water Impact Network, Lozeau Drury LLP submitted a 63-page comment letter to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region questioning the legality and effectiveness of the Regional Board’s Draft Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Environmental Impact Report. The irrigated Lands Program is responsible for addressing toxic and other pollutant discharges from the estimated 25,000 farms in California’s Central Valley… read more
On September 13, 2010, Lozeau Drury submitted extensive written comments to the Lahontan Water Quality Control Board and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, on behalf of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, regarding the Draft Lake Tahoe TMDL Technical Report, Draft Lake Tahoe TMDL Report and Draft Basin Plan. The plans seek to establish a TMDL from both point sources and nonpoint sources affecting the Lake that will ensure compliance with Lake Tahoe’s deepwater transparency standard. The comments requested further development of the proposed standards to ensure adequate, enforceable pollution controls for the Lake. The League submitted further comments to the State Water Board in March 2011…
On August 14, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, filed a lawsuit against Davis Waste Removal for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the State of California’s General Industrial Storm Water permit at the company’s facility in Davis, California… read more
On August 13, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, filed a lawsuit against Syar Concrete for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the State of California’s General Industrial Storm Water permit at the company’s Woodland facility… read more
On August 5, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and the Petaluma River Council, filed a lawsuit against three waste handling facilities owned by the North Bay Corporation in Sonoma County – West Sonoma Disposal Services, Redwood Empire Disposal and Novato Disposal Service – for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the State of California’s General Industrial Storm Water permit… read more
On June 17, 2010, the California Court of Appeal issued a precedent-setting ruling in CSPA’s litigation to enforce the Department of Water Resources’ duties under the California Endangered Species Act to protect listed fish in operating the State’s massive Central Valley Project’s Delta pumps. Rejecting appeals brought by three water districts, and after hearing argument from Lozeau Drury’s Mike Lozeau, the Court of Appeal ruled that CESA applies to all of California’s state agencies, including DWR. On September 29, 2010, the California Supreme Court rejected the water district’s petitions for review, bringing to a successful conclusion CSPA’s victory in 2007 in obtaining an order that DWR comply with CESA’s take permitting requirements or shut down the Central Valley pumps. DWR has since obtained authority from DFG under CESA. The validity of DFG’s take authorizations remains under investigation by CSPA… read the Court of Appeal’s decision
On May 26, 2010, CSPA represented by Lozeau Drury and Lawyers for Clean Water, settled its Clean Water Act lawsuit against the El Dorado Irrigation District in exchange for substantial reductions in the number of sewage overflows the District spills into Deer Creek and an environmental mitigation payment of $120,000… read more
On May 6, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, filed a lawsuit against Allied Waste Services for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the State of California’s General Industrial Storm Water permit at the company’s facility in Rancho Cordova, California… read more
On March 15, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP won a unanimous 7-to-0 decision from the California Supreme Court against ConocoPhillips, one of the largest oil companies in the world, requiring CEQA review for a diesel project constructed at its Wilmington refinery. The decision, Communities for a Better Environment v. South Coast Air Quality Management District et al., defined the CEQA environmental baseline to be applied by permitting agencies as the actual environmental conditions at the time a project is proposed, rather than hypothetical maximum emission limits that were authorized but never fully utilized under previously issued permits… read more
In March 2010, on behalf of Carpenters Union Local 713, Lozeau Drury assisted in negotiating a settlement with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and various environmental groups over the reconstruction of the Calaveras Dam that ensured significant protections for fish in the East Bay’s Alameda Creek. The settlement resulted in critical environmental protections for migrating fish, including flow monitoring and the installation of fish ladders at the dam, addressing the concerns of citizen and environmental groups while allowing the important Bay Area water supply project to proceed… read more
In March 2010, CSPA entered into settlements of three of the Clean Water Act enforcement cases being handled by Lozeau Drury. The settlements included stormwater violations by Syar Industries at their Lake Herman Quarry, Tri-City Rock for violations at its facility in South San Francisco Bay, and Melrose Metals for violations at its facility in Fremont…
read news release (Syar)
read news release (Tri-City Rock)
read news release (Melrose Metals)
On December 7, 2009, the Alameda Superior Court ordered the closure of the Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area because the California Department of Parks & Recreation has been blatantly violating the state’s water quality law by failing to report its massive pollution discharges to Corral Hollow Creek from sediment and heavy metals eroding off hillsides and trails used by OHV and dirt bike enthusiasts. On March 16, 2010, the Court of Appeal overturned the Superior Court’s order, finding that CSPA and PEER must first ask the Regional Board and State Board to enforce the water quality law they have been charged with implementing. On March 19, 2010, Lozeau Drury petitioned the Central Valley Regional Board to do just that. After receiving no response from that agency, Lozeau Drury filed a petition with the State Board. The case and the petition remain pending…
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On 21 June 2011, CSPA settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against the Allied Waste Services regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit. Allied Waste Services Concrete operates a 4-acre waste hauling and collection facility in Rancho Cordova, California… read more
In 2009, Richard Drury was named California Attorney of the Year for lawsuit victory requiring school buses to install pollution controls to protect health of thousands of children… read more (pdf)
Federal court rules that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Department of Energy must comply with National Environmental Policy Act before proceeding with supercomputer center. Read more…
Community group files lawsuit against West Oakland recycling firm… read more
Originally slated for approval in December 2008, Lozeau Drury has been representing the Petaluma River Council in opposing a proposed asphalt plant proposed to be located on the banks of the Petaluma River immediately across from Schollenberger Park, a favorite recreational and birdwatching site. The project’s fate remains up in the air… read more
In August 2009, CSPA, represented by Lozeau Drury, settled a Clean Water Act case alleging violations of stormwater pollution regulations filed against a waste collection and recycling facility located in Fairfield, California… read more
In February 2009, CSPA, represented by Lozeau Drury, reached a settlement in a Clean Water enforcement case brought against Waste Management for stormwater pollution at the companies Davis Street facility in Fremont, California… read more
In July 2009, CSPA, represented by Lozeau Drury as well as Lawyers For Clean Water, settled litigation under the Clean water Act against the City of Stockton for thousands of sewage overflows from the City’s sewer system… read more
Lozeau Drury files lawsuit on behalf of the League to Save Lake Tahoe challenging south shore development… read more