The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the federal government to perform a thorough environmental review before approving a project. Public participation is central to the NEPA process. NEPA also provides for judicial review to enforce NEPA's procedural requirements after a project is approved. The California Environmental Policy Act (CEQA), California's counterpart to NEPA, imposes similar requirements on California State agencies.
Coast to Mountain Environmental Law and Mediation Office (CTM) advises and represents cities, counties, state governments, Tribes, and community and non-profit groups on matters affecting compliance with NEPA or CEQA. Such lawsuits may seek modification of an approved project or addition of mitigation measures to meet the conservation objectives of the objecting agency or group.
Climate change is increasingly affecting natural resources and environmental management in the West. Climate change has the potential to impact water quality and supplies, air quality, forest and ocean health, and the recovery of threatened and endangered species. CTM assists clients in addressing those changes by integrating climate change issues in policy and land use planning, and in litigation, addressing climate change in environmental review documents.
Natural Resources and Historic Preservation
Our Nation's natural resources are governed by a number of substantive laws, such as the National Forest Management Act, state and federal Endangered Species Acts, the Wilderness Act, and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. CTM advises local governments on the scope of their regulatory authority, and represents environmental and community groups in challenging actions that threaten our natural resources through non-compliance of the law.
CTM also represents clients in matters involving air and water quality, coastal protection, challenges to regulatory progress, compliance with national and local historic preservation laws, and laws involving transportation projects.
CTM represents clients seeking to ensure compliance with federal and state Endangered Species Acts. CTM assists clients challenging listing decisions or biological opinions issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Environmental burdens, such as decreased air and water quality, lack of outdoor access, and poor land use planning, disproportionately impact certain communities. CTM represents community groups, non-profits, and government agencies working to address such issues.
Municipal Law/Land Use
Municipal law is law that applies specifically to a particular city or county and the governmental bodies within those cities or counties. Land use law is the regulation of the use and development of public and private real estate. These two areas of law can cover a wide range of issues, including a municipality's use of its police power, zoning, and approval of permits. CTM represents clients at both the local administrative level and in state court litigation to ensure that municipality is taking into consideration the concerns of local residents and businesses, and following all applicable local ordinances in the municipality's decision-making process.