TITLE

Baseline in the Sand: Communities for a Better Environment v. South Coast Air Quality Management District

AUTHOR(S)
McQueeney, Megan
PUB. DATE
May 2011
SOURCE
Ecology Law Quarterly;2011, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p293
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Environmental review statutes like the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act require that an agency review a proposed action for significant environmental impacts. In order to do so, agencies must choose a baseline or "status quo" that serves as a basis for comparison, allowing the agency to assess the existence and importance of any potential environmental impacts. In March 2010, the California Supreme Court held that under the California Environmental Quality Act existing conditions set the baseline, and permits to develop or emit at a certain level cannot set the baseline, absent other evidence. Federal courts should apply the existing conditions rule to the National Environmental Policy Act and prohibit baselines based on permitted rights. The existing conditions rule is consistent with National Environmental Policy Act precedent and the environmental purpose of National Environmental Policy Act, and promotes critical accuracy and transparency in the review process.
ACCESSION #
66612348

 

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