Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-w9xp6 Total loading time: 0.201 Render date: 2022-12-02T10:38:27.612Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

PERSPECTIVES FROM THE FIELD: The National Environmental Policy Act in the Ninth Circuit: Once the Leader, Now the Follower?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2015

Jennifer Hernandez
Affiliation:
Jennifer Hernandez, Partner, Holland & Knight, San Francisco, California; and JD, Stanford Law School, Stanford, California. Stephanie DeHerrera, Law Clerk, Holland & Knight, San Francisco, California; and JD Candidate, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California.
Stephanie DeHerrera
Affiliation:
Jennifer Hernandez, Partner, Holland & Knight, San Francisco, California; and JD, Stanford Law School, Stanford, California. Stephanie DeHerrera, Law Clerk, Holland & Knight, San Francisco, California; and JD Candidate, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California.
Get access

Abstract

Precisely what is the relationship between the developing jurisprudence of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the most renowned “baby” NEPA? What is the societal and environmental value of the current legal structure of these two statutory behemoths both individually and conjunctionally considered? Endeavoring to answer these questions, this study analyzes all published opinions from the First, Ninth, and Eleventh United States Circuit Courts of Appeals during a fifteen year study period (1997 to 2012), where plaintiffs challenged the validity of a federal agency’s compliance with NEPA. It reveals not only that CEQA jurisprudence has strayed from that of NEPA, despite being modeled after it, but, even more astounding, that NEPA jurisprudence of the Ninth Circuit, the federal appellate court that includes California, is following CEQA’s blatant divergence from NEPA as practiced in the rest of the country, creating a fundamentally different version of NEPA applicable only to the Western states. The study concludes by calling on the Council on Environmental Quality to update its NEPA regulations to provide a more clear explanation of the statute’s mandates, including clear direction on how federal agencies should accomplish these mandates.

Environmental Practice 16: 329–334 (2014)

Type
Points of View
Copyright
© National Association of Environmental Professionals 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). July 1, 2012. 40 CFR 1508.8: Terminology and Index. In CFR 40: Protection of the Environment. CEQ, Washington, DC. Available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title40-vol34/xml/CFR-2012-title40-vol34-sec1508-8.xml.Google Scholar
Hernandez, J.L., and DeHerrera, S.. Unpublished manuscript. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Challenges from 1997–2012 in the First, Ninth, and Eleventh U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals: Is NEPA Still a National Mandate or Has the Ninth Circuit Created a “Baby CEQA”?Google Scholar
Lighty, R.K. Unpublished manuscript. Circuit-Splitting the Atom: How the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy Reached Different Conclusions on the Need to Consider Hypothetical Terrorist Attacks under NEPA.Google Scholar
Riccardi, N. 2011. Firms Turning to Environmental Law to Combat Rivals. Los Angeles Times, November 14. Available at http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/14/local/la-me-development-ceqa-20111114.Google Scholar
US Congress. 1970, as amended through 2000, December 31. Public Law 91–190: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. US Congress, Washington, DC, 9 pp. Available at http://www.epw.senate.gov/nepa69.pdf.Google Scholar

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

PERSPECTIVES FROM THE FIELD: The National Environmental Policy Act in the Ninth Circuit: Once the Leader, Now the Follower?
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

PERSPECTIVES FROM THE FIELD: The National Environmental Policy Act in the Ninth Circuit: Once the Leader, Now the Follower?
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

PERSPECTIVES FROM THE FIELD: The National Environmental Policy Act in the Ninth Circuit: Once the Leader, Now the Follower?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *