Professor Frank Prevails in Supreme Court Environmental Case
The California Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Professor Rick Frank and the environmental justice activists he represented in a case involving the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and clean air standards at a ConocoPhillips refinery in Wilmington.
Frank, a 1974 graduate of King Hall who is Executive Director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at UC Berkeley and a Visiting Lecturer at King Hall this semester, represented Communities for a Better Environment, labor organizations, and individuals who live or work near the refinery. They claimed the South Coast Air Quality Management District had improperly granted a permit for a proposed expansion of the ConocoPhillips refinery that increased nitrogen oxide emissions by several hundred pounds a day. On March 15, the state high court ruled unanimously that the district applied the wrong "environmental baseline" when calculating the effect of the emissions, and required that the District prepare a new environmental impact report under CEQA.
"In all likelihood, mitigation measures will be identified in that report, which can be adopted retroactively," said Professor Frank, in a Los Angeles Times article on the decision.
Los Angeles Times article