Liz Klebaner

Liz Klebaner

Liz Klebaner advises clients on environmental compliance and natural resources, administrative law, energy and public utilities matters, including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Federal Land Policy Management Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Warren-Alquist State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Act.

Ms. Klebaner also litigates in state and federal court. She has litigated matters brought under the California Environmental Quality Act, the Warren-Alquist State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Federal Land Policy Management Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and the Endangered Species Act.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Three New Species; National Marine Fisheries Services Lists Subspecies of Hector’s Dolphin

On September 20, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) listed three separate species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  USFWS listed the Sonoyta mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) as endangered, and the ‘I’iwi (Drepanis coccinea) and pearl darter (Percina aurora) as threatened species under the ESA.  Despite listing all three species, the USFWS deferred … Continue Reading

ESA Reform Update

Battle lines are being drawn in connection with ongoing efforts by lawmakers to reform the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  In a letter addressed to the leaders of both houses of Congress, the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee and the House Committee on Natural Resources, more than 400 groups requested lawmakers to oppose any bill, … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Removes Hurdle to Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Designation Challenge

On April 11, 2017, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) held in Carpenters Industrial Council v. Zinke, 2017 U.S.App.LEXIS 6175, that a lumber company trade association had standing to challenge a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) regulation designating critical habitat for the northern … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules Injury from Future Water Rights Restrictions Too Speculative for Article III Standing

On February 21, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District (collectively, “Water Contractors”) lacked Article III standing to pursue an Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) claim against the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively, the “Federal … Continue Reading

USFWS Initiates Status Review for Lesser Prairie-Chicken

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) recently published a positive 90-day finding on a petition to list the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and three distinct population segments as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  The petition was filed by WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Defenders of Wildlife on September 8, 2016.  … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Denies U.S. Forest Service’s Petition for Review in Canadian Lynx Case

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the U.S. Forest Service’s (“Forest Service”) petition for writ of certiorari to review the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. Forest Service, 789 F.3d 1075 (9th Cir. 2015).  The key issues in the case related to standing, the justiciability of … Continue Reading

Northern Spotted Owl Listed As a Threatened Species Under the California Endangered Species Act

On August 25, 2016, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to list the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act.  The owl is already listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act.  The Commission’s action increased protections for the species … Continue Reading

USFWS Publishes Final Methodology for Prioritizing Listing Petition Status Reviews

On July 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) published a Federal Register notice of its final Methodology for Prioritizing Status Reviews and Accompanying 12-Month Findings on Petitions for Listing Species under the Endangered Species Act (“Methodology”).  The final Methodology clarifies several of the terms and processes identified in the draft Methodology. The … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Holds Injury Exists Where Statutory Enactment Denies Plaintiff’s Right to Information; Upholds Section 9 Exemption for Antelope Species

On June 3, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held in Friends of Animals v. Jewell (No. 1:14-cv-00357) that Plaintiff Friends of Animals (“Plaintiff”) had Article III standing to pursue a constitutional claim on the ground of informational injury.  The court, however, rejected the merits of Plaintiff’s challenge to a U.S. … Continue Reading
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