Client Alert

A Road Map for Water: A Court Finally Clears a CEQA Water Supply Analysis

December 07, 2007

Robert I. McMurry & A. Catherine Norian

After more than a decade of finding Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) to be defective in every major water supply lawsuit since the early 1990s, including the California Supreme Courts recent decision in Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova, a Court of Appeal has finally upheld a project-level EIRs Water Resources analysis. On November 26, 2007, the Second District Court of Appeal in California issued Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment v. County of Los Angeles (SCOPE II decision), the first published opinion to interpret Vineyard. In SCOPE II, the Court held that the projects EIR fulfilled each of _Vineyard_s four principles, and rejected claims that the EIR should have analyzed alternative water supplies.

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