Coastal Blog — Legal
September 20 2012
This week California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1219 (Wolk) into law, extending the in-store recycling program for single-use plastic bags. Unlike the former version of this bill AB 2449 (2006), there is no local preemption for municipalities in California that want to require a charge for plastic bags.
September 16 2012
The City of San Francisco successfully fended off a suit by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition that challenged their new broader single-use bag ban. This win will likely encourage other cities to stand up to industry scare tactics and enact broad local ordinances.
August 13 2012
Beach driving not only involves ecological considerations; it also involves beach access and freedom to enjoy coastal resources. This blog explores how beach driving has shaped the law and, in turn, how the law has responded to beach driving.
June 29 2012
In a curt and unreasoned statement, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the application of Harris County, Texas, to file an amicus brief in support of rehearing of the Severance v. Patterson case. This recent case denied the State of Texas interpretation of the Texas Open Beaches Act to…
May 31 2012
On March 30, 2012, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of private property rights over the public beach access rights of the people of Texas. Surfrider Foundation Texas Chapters have pledged to resurge support to strengthen the state's beach access law.
April 18 2012
Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, EPA still hasn't studied the effects of toxic chemical dispersants on water quality and wildlife. Surfrider Foundation, Center for Bioligical Diversity and Pacific Environment filed suit today to challenge the authorization of such chemicals in oil spill response plans.
April 16 2012
Surfrider Foundation, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club-Maui Group, and West Maui Preservation Association, represented by Earthjustice, sued the County of Maui today for federal Clean Water Act violations leading to contamination of nearshore waters from the Lahaina wastewater facility injection wells.
March 23 2012
In a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing today, Judge James C. Chalfant upheld the County of Los Angeles ordinance to impose a single-use plastic bag ban with a 10-cent fee on paper bags.
March 03 2012
This past week Surfrider Foundation staff visited Washington DC to promote our federal priorities on Capitol Hill. As a grassroots organization, our federal priorities stem from the work of the over 80 local Chapters in the United States. The common issues that have risen to the top of our local…
February 10 2012
The federal Environmental Protection Agency approved a California Sewage Ban and Created the Largest Coastal No-Discharge Zone in the Nation on February 9, 2012.
January 28 2012
On January 26, 2012, the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California presented a public workshop entitled “Your Voice: The Public’s Role in Environmental Decision-Making.” This blog outlines some of the take-home messages from that workshop.
December 23 2011
On December 28, 2011, Surfrider Foundation filed an appellate brief articulating our opposition to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s approval of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant without proper analyses of the appropriate site, design, and technology that would minimize harm to coastal resources. Additionally, the project approval allowed…
December 08 2011
Surfrider Foundation's San Francisco Chapter is taking strides to protect coastal Sharp Park from the current mismanagement that includes reinforcement of a destructive sea wall and continued harm to endangered species. The Chapter received a positive vote from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors this week to transfer the park…
October 28 2011
The California Attorney General decided to take action against misleading water bottle labels falsely claiming recyclability and biodegradability. Attorney General Kamala Harris signed off on a Complaint for Injunction, Civil Penalties and Other Relief on behalf of the People of the State of California. The Complaint points out that the…
October 14 2011
The Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2011 (S.1701) was introduced by Senators Olympia Snowe (D-ME) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) yesterday to address the problem of Harmful Algal Blooms (commonly known as "HABs") that are making our coasts and oceans increasingly harmful to public health.…
September 22 2011
Today, Surfrider Foundation, Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Environment jointly filed an official Notice of Intent to Sue against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allowing the use of toxic oil dispersants without ensuring that these chemicals would not harm our coastal environment and coastal users. The 60-day notice…
September 19 2011
On September 15, 2011, Marin County Superior Court issued its ruling upholding the Marin County plastic bag ban in the case entitled Save The Plastic Bag Coalition v. County of Marin. The Court ruled that Marin County acted properly in relying upon a “categorical exemption” from the California Environmental Quality…
September 15 2011
The ChicoBag Company, makers of reusable bags, has announced that the lawsuit filed against it by Hilex Poly Company, LLC, Superbag Operating, LTD., and Advance Polybag, Inc. – three of the largest domestic manufacturers of disposable single-use plastic bags – has ended. Chico was sued in January under the Lanham…