Replay available from our video archive

A Timely New Virtual Seminar on

CEQA and the NEPA Re-Write

Impacts on project review and pursuit of substantive policy goals; practical tips for local officials and CEQA/NEPA practitioners

Presented on July 29, 2020

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Program Overview

Who Should Order

Attorneys, land use planners, real estate and environmental professionals, consultants, landowners, and governmental regulatory officials

Why You will Benefit from the Replay

This intensive virtual seminar focuses on the potential impact of the Trump Administration's NEPA rewrite on environmental review for projects in California. The re-write is likely to be the most significant change in the history of NEPA. We'll take a detailed look at the proposed changes and their interplay with CEQA from a variety of viewpoints.

You'll also hear about recent substantive and procedural CEQA changes as California continues to pursue its environmental policy goals in the face of a federal rollback.

A key part of the NEPA rewrite is streamlining for infrastructure projects. We'll address the interplay between environmental review and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), and with the regulatory structure for water utilities. Another key change involves analysis of cumulative impacts and we'll explore the implications for energy project development strategies. California is in the midst of a transition from Level of Service (LOS) to Vehicle Miles Traveled for transportation planning and you'll hear from a panel of experts on the implications of the rewrite on both planning and infrastructure project review.

This will be an interactive program so that you can contribute your own ideas and have your specific questions answered. We hope you will join us for what promises to be a very lively discussion!

~ Daniel P. Brunton, Esq. of Latham & Watkins and Josh Chatten-Brown, Esq. of Chatten-Brown, Carstens & Minteer, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • The NEPA Re-Write and other federal developments
  • Recent CEQA substantive and procedural developments
  • Water infrastructure projects and the interplay between environmental review and SGMA
  • Climate change and cumulative impacts analysis for energy and transportation projects
  • Navigating record preparation in a post Golden Door Properties LLC v. Superior Court world

What Participants Said

  • "Panelists represented a good range of fields and interests. Well moderated session."
  • "I really appreciate the diversity of perspectives on the panels!"
  • "Overall great group of speakers."
  • "Good timing, questions. Will return next year."

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

8:30 am

Registration Opens

9:00 am

Introduction & Overview

Daniel P. Brunton, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Latham & Watkins / San Diego, CA

Josh Chatten-Brown, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Chatten-Brown, Carstens & Minteer / San Diego, CA

9:15 am

The NEPA Re-Write and Other Federal Developments

Exemptions and expedited review provisions including special treatment for large projects; potential impacts on other projects; interplay with substantive Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act changes such as the WOTUS definition; court challenges

Nicole Buffa, Esq.
Latham & Watkins / Costa Mesa, CA

Lisa T. Belenky, Esq. , Senior Attorney
Center for Biological Diversity / Oakland, CA

10:30 am


10:45 am

Recent CEQA Developments and the Interplay with NEPA

Substantive provisions: Update on key California Court cases; implementation of 2018 OPR CEQA Guidelines; provisions designed to facilitate California's response to climate change and the homeless crisis; prospects for legislative changes

Josh Chatten-Brown, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Chatten-Brown, Carstens & Minteer / San Diego, CA

Christopher Luke Stiles, Esq.
Remy Moose Manley / Sacramento, CA

Daniel P. Brunton, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Latham & Watkins / San Diego, CA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Water Infrastructure Projects

The interplay among the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), regulatory structure for water utilities, and NEPA/CEQA review: The resulting legal, technical, and environmental justice issues

Scott A. Morris, Esq.
Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard / Sacramento, CA

2:00 pm

Climate Change and Cumulative Impacts Analysis: Energy Infrastructure Projects

Renewable resource developer perspective on the impact of recent federal and state policy development on project development strategies

Elizabeth Klebaner, Esq.
Nossaman / Los Angeles, CA

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Climate Change and Cumulative Impacts Analysis (cont'd): Transportation Infrastructure Projects

Perspectives on the most effective transportation planning approaches for meeting California's greenhouse gas emission goals for the transportation sector

Heidi K. Vonblum, Esq. , Environmental Policy Program Manager
City of San Diego / San Diego, CA

Christopher S. Burt, Esq. , Deputy General Counsel
Port of San Diego / San Diego, CA

4:30 pm

CEQA Practice Tips for Building an Adequate Record

Is the Record Complete: The Role of Retention requirements and the Common Interest Doctrine

Kevin Patrick Sullivan, Esq.
Gatzke Dillon & Balance / Carlsbad, CA

Taiga Takahashi, Esq.
Latham & Watkins / San Diego, CA

5:00 pm

Evaluations & Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Daniel P. Brunton, Daniel P. Brunton, Program Co-Chair, is Of Counsel to Latham & Watkins. Daniel Brunton focuses his practice on environmental law, with an emphasis on helping developers obtain entitlements for large or controversial projects and defending those entitlements in court.

Josh Chatten-Brown, Josh Chatten-Brown, Program Co-Chair, is a land use and environmental law attorney with Chatten-Brown, Carstens & Minteer. He represents environmental and community groups in NEPA and CEQA matters.

Lisa T. Belenky Lisa T. Belenky is a Senior Attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. She works on protecting rare and endangered species and their habitats under state and federal law.

Nicole Buffa Nicole Buffa is Of Counsel to Latham & Watkins. She rejoined Latham after serving eight years in the Obama Administration, most recently as Deputy Chief of Staff at the United States Department of the Interior.

Christopher S. Burt Christopher S. Burt is Deputy General Counsel for the Port of San Diego.

Elizabeth Klebaner Elizabeth Klebaner is a partner at Nossaman. She advises public agency and corporate clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters.

Scott A. Morris Scott A. Morris is the managing shareholder for Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard. He focuses on natural resources, land use, and water law, representing both public and private clients.

Christopher Luke Stiles Christopher Luke Stiles is a partner at Remy Moose Manley. His practice focuses on land use and environmental law, with emphasis on CEQA, the State Planning and Zoning Law, the NEPA, the federal Endangered Species Act, the California Endangered Species Act, air and water quality, natural resources, wetlands, and related matters.

Kevin Patrick Sullivan Kevin Patrick Sullivan is a partner at Gatzke Dillon & Balance. He has served as the Assistant General Counsel for the Ontario International Airport, and has been a (contract) Assistant City Attorney of the City of San Marcos. He also has acted as outside counsel to the San Diego International Airport, City of San Jose, City of San Diego, San Diego Centre City Development Corporation, County of Imperial, City of Chula Vista, City of Indio, and City of El Centro.

Taiga Takahashi, Taiga Takahashi, Latham & Watkins, provides legal counsel regarding administrative law and regulatory compliance issues.

Heidi K. Vonblum Heidi K. Vonblum is the Environmental Policy Program Manager in the City of San Diego's Planning Department. She previously served as a Deputy City Attorney in the Land Use Advisory and Litigation Units in the San Diego City Attorney's Office.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 6.25 California MCLE, 6.0 AICP planner, and 6.0 ABCEP environmental professional credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.