Climate Change and Environmental Impact Statements

Complying With NEPA and State Requirements for Project Environmental Review

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Program Materials

This seminar will discuss how a project's environmental footprint should be incorporated into environmental impact statements. The panel will outline strategies for ensuring compliance with NEPA and state equivalent requirements.

Description

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its state equivalents (little NEPAs) require businesses seeking development permits to file environmental impact statements (EIS) evaluating the environmental effects of projects. GHG and carbon footprint mitigation measures must be addressed.

Climate change impacts must be measured when assessing a project’s environmental impact. Recently, a California court ruled a Wal-Mart development project's EIS was inadequate because it failed to consider greenhouse gas emissions — effectively putting that project on hold.

The ruling demonstrates the need for comprehensive EIS and a new willingness of judges to consider the potential cumulative environmental impact of GHGs. Companies, project sponsors and counsel must understand and incorporate all significant impacts of a project on climate change in all EIS.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental attorneys examines the requirements under NEPA and the little NEPAs and recent court treatment, discusses key issues to address in the EIS process, and offers best practices for compliance.

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Outline

  1. Statutory requirements
    1. NEPA
    2. Little NEPAs
    3. Administrative Procedure Act
    4. CEQA
    5. Draft guidance (Council of Environmental Quality)
  2. Impacts and issues
    1. Direct operational impacts
    2. Purchased electricity
    3. Induced trips
    4. Construction impacts and GHG emissions
    5. The affect of climate change on the project
    6. Key issues to address
  3. Recent court treatment
    1. Federal courts
    2. State courts
  4. Best practices/strategies for compliance

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What do NEPA and its state equivalents require in an EIS concerning climate change?
  • What are the methods to assess climate change impacts and develop mitigation strategies when preparing and reviewing an EIS?
  • What are the most effective strategies to comply with statutory EIS requirements by reporting the effect of climate change on projects?

Faculty

Jeffrey M. Judd
Jeffrey M. Judd

Partner
Howrey

His practice emphasizes the defense of technology-intensive class claims, mass torts, and other complex litigation in...  |  Read More

Paul E. Gutermann
Paul E. Gutermann

Partner
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

He litigates cutting-edge issues arising under all the major statutes and negotiates environmental issues in corporate...  |  Read More

Christina M. Carroll
Christina M. Carroll

Partner
McKenna Long & Aldridge

She focuses on complex litigation, including toxic tort and environmental litigation. She handles claims arising out of...  |  Read More

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