Pacific Merchant Shipping Association v. NewsomAnnotate this Case
In 2018, faced with the “impending loss of the Raiders to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco,” the Legislature sought to facilitate “a new baseball park” at the Howard Terminal site in Oakland. The Project would create many high-wage, highly skilled jobs and present “an unprecedented opportunity to invest in new and improved transit and transportation infrastructure and implement sustainability measures.”
Assembly Bill 734 is special legislation applicable solely to the Project. Pursuant to Public Resources Code section 21168.6.7, the baseball park and any nonresidential construction in the Project must achieve LEED gold certification, and residential construction must achieve either LEED gold certification or “the comparable GreenPoint rating, including meeting sustainability standards for access to quality transit.” The project must also achieve greenhouse gas neutrality, reduce by 20 percent the collective vehicle trips, and offer a “comprehensive package of community benefits.” Section 21168.6.7 requires certification by the Governor that the Project meets all those criteria to qualify for expedited administrative and judicial review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Objectors argued that the Governor’s authority to certify the project expired on January 1, 2020. The trial court and court of appeal upheld the Governor’s ongoing certification authority. On February 11, 2021, the Governor certified the Howard Terminal Project for expedited CEQA review.