Ninth Circuit Upholds Corps’ Issuance of CWA Section 404 Permit for Newhall Ranch Project Near Santa Clarita, CA

April 11, 2018
Anthony B. Cavender - Gravel2Gavel Construction & Real Estate Law Blog

On April 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a unanimous opinion, rejected the challenges to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) decision to issue a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit to the Newhall Land and Farming Company (Newhall), which is planning a large residential and commercial project in Los Angeles County near Santa Clarita, CA (the Newhall Ranch project). The Newhall Ranch project, which involves the discharge of dredge and fill materials into the Santa Clara River, has been scaled back and modified, and the Ninth Circuit held that it is consistent with the CWA, the Corps’ regulations and procedures, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Ninth Circuit provides an excellent primer on the Section 404 permitting process. The case is Friends of the Santa Clara River v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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