The California Environmental Quality Act, in effect for decades and updated periodically, has become the basis of much recent legal activity. Currently, the California Supreme Court is hearing six CEQA cases, as many as it has decided in the last 10 years. GlobeSt.com spoke with Amy Nefouse, a partner in the San Diego office of the law firm DLA Piper who has represented developers and municipalities in environmental cases, about the reasons behind the increase, and what they will mean to developers in California and elsewhere.

GlobeSt.: How do you account for the increase in CEQA-related cases before the state Supreme Court?

Nefouse: There is partly an up-tick in the number of cases being decided by the Supreme Court, but also an uptick in the number of cases they have accepted review of and are pending…there has been a steady flow of appellate cases under CEQA for many, many years. Two big California cases in the last year have been related to water supply. It may just be those issues that have been working their way through the court of appeal are right for Supreme Court review.

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