• Paulek v. California Department of Water Resources --- Cal.Rptr.2d ---- 2014 WL 5499844 Challenges to EIRs Are Easy to Make, But Hard to Win?
  • March 18, 2015 | Author: Summer L. Nastich
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - San Francisco Office
  • In Paulek, the plaintiff challenged certification of the final Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”), a document required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), related to upgrades of the Perris Dam. The draft EIR addressed (1) fixing some of the dam’s structural deficiencies, (2) replacing the dam’s outlet tower and (3) constructing a new emergency outlet extension to carry water from the reservoir in the event of an emergency (using the existing outlet would flood a nearby residential area). The final EIR eliminated review of the outlet extension, which the defendant lead agency, the California Department of Water Resources (“DWR”), planned to address in a separate environmental document. Thus, the final EIR only evaluated fixing the structural deficiencies and replacing the outlet tower. Paulek asserted a number of grounds to invalidate the final EIR including failure to fully mitigate, impermissible segmentation and a failure to properly respond to comments. None of them worked.