Environmental cases resolved
- Endangered Species Act. Mr. Yates has litigated and successfully settled Endangered Species Act cases, whereby the landowner agreed to enact habitat remediation measures, including creation of vernal pools and commitments to use native crop cover and non chemical methods to limit rodent populations.
- Endangered Species Act. Mr. Yates negotiated a settlement with the Fish and Wildlife Service in which valuable habitat was purchased and protected.
- CEQA. Mr. Yates recently prevailed in Forest Unlimited v. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in a challenge to Gualala Redwood Timber company's Timber Harvesting Plan on the Gualala River. This litigation stopped logging of redwood forest in the floodplains of the Gualala River.
- NEPA/CEQA. At U.S. EPA Mr. Yates scrutinized federal agencies, such as the Forest Service and the Corps of Engineers for NEPA compliance. Mr. Yates has advised cities, counties, state and federal agencies on NEPA/CEQA compliance and wetlands regulations for several projects including: forest plans, flood protection projects; development projects and major roads. Mr. Yates has reviewed hundreds of EIR and the Clean Water Act wetlands applications to ensure compliance with state and Federal law.
- Regional Water Quality Control Board. The Sacramento regional board initiated an enforcement action against a community sewage district serving a major residential and commercial area, Mr. Yates worked with the Board regulators and the community district before convincing the Board to focus its enforcement remedies on appropriate technical engineering fixes supported by fisheries groups.
- Flood Protection/Wetlands/Property Rights. A North Bay county proposed two flood control projects that included installation of concrete flood control structures. These structures would have caused damage to the creek habitat and lowered property values. Mr. Yates represented the property owners and an environmental group and convinced the county to abandon the projects.
- State Water Board Litigation. Regarding a water agency multi-creek water recharge project, a resource conservation district filed a complicated administrative complaint before the State Water Resources Control Board and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Mr. Yates worked closely with all parties and regulators and suggested a compliance regimen that set schedules and performance markers that moved the project toward adoption of habitat protection measures.