Legal Question in Environmental Law in California

EIS Outdated?

My County Council is considering a controversial zoning change that would turn a 670 acre agricultural parcel into a 1,400 unit residential development. The EIS for the project is 19 years old. During that time the population of the county has nearly doubled, and the area around the project has seen huge increases in people, traffic, water usage, etc. There does not seem to be a legal requirement to update the EIS and public protest about using the old one is being ignored. Are there any cases, nationwide, addressing the matter of a project hanging around so long that the EIS is no longer valid. (The actual location of this is Maui, but there are not enough environmental attorneys in Hawaii for submission of this question to be meaningful in this forum, and ''entire US'' is not an option that is given.)

Asked on 9/28/07, 3:38 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Marcia S Wertenberger Marcia S. Wertenberger, Esq.

Re: EIS Outdated?

There are many cases on this issue for state and federal docs - it will all depend on the action your state law and the impacts but I doubt that any court would allow 19 years to pass and then say - go for it! Even without a case or statute on point - they would likely draw from another states law if not specifically addressed in HI law - in CA this would be a no-go. I would need more info on this situation. Changes in circumstances - endangered species listings - wetlands issues - public involvement requirements are all things that could force a redo of the document. Please e-mail me with more info - is there any federal jurisdiction or is it just state?

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Answered on 9/30/07, 12:21 pm

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