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ACTION TIMELINE

November 20, 2006 – The Center filed a groundbreaking lawsuit to challenge the California city of Banning’s approval of the sprawling “Black Bench” development, charging that it will contribute to global warming, air pollution, and other environmental harm.

January 24, 2007 – The Center and the Sierra Club filed suit against Desert Hot Springs over its decision to approve the Palmwood project, a massive luxury residential and commercial development in an important wildlife conservation area outside the city, without analyzing the impacts to global warming.

March 11, 2007 – The Center, other groups, and the California attorney general urged San Bernardino County to address the critical issue of global warming in its General Plan, the county’s blueprint for growth and development for the next 25 years.

April 11, 2007 – The Center and allies filed a lawsuit to force San Bernardino County to address global warming in its recently approved General Plan.

June 5, 2007 – The Center and other conservation groups appeared at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor’s meeting to request that the board adopt a climate action plan.

July 24, 2007 – The Center and allies called on California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to publicly oppose efforts by the Republican minority in the California State Senate to exempt greenhouse gas emissions from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act.

August 9, 2007 – The Center filed suit challenging a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Perris, California. The lawsuit challenged the project’s failure to consider measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, as required by California law.

August 21, 2007 – California Attorney General Jerry Brown and San Bernardino County announced a settlement to the attorney general’s challenge to the county’s growth plan — filed alongside a challenge by the Center and allies — for failing to address global warming. The county agreed to address greenhouse gases that cause global warming in its blueprint for growth for the next 20 years.

September 2007 – The Center released a report called The California Environmental Quality Act: On the Front Lines of California’s Fight Against Global Warming, which outlines the methods and obligations regarding analyzing global warming during land-use approvals in California.

July 30, 2008 – The Center filed suit to force Wal-Mart to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from construction of a new store in Yucca Valley, near Joshua Tree National Park.

August 2008 – After receiving legal comments from the Center, Solano County, California agreed to adopt a Climate Action Plan to address the county’s long-term growth.

August 8, 2008 – In response to the Center’s suit, filed with the Sierra Club, a California court rejected a proposal to build the destructive Palmwood resort because the project’s environmental study failed to analyze greenhouse gas emissions. The lawsuit had challenged the city of Desert Hot Springs’ approval of the Palmwood resort near Joshua Tree National Park .

August 26, 2008 – After receiving comments from the Center and South Central Farmers, the city of Los Angeles rejected a proposal to build a massive warehouse distribution center on a former community garden without analyzing greenhouse gas emissions.

October 16, 2008 – The Center and California Rural Legal Assistance filed suit challenging the failure of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to properly consider the global warming and human health impacts of the proposed 6,120-animal Van Der Kooi Dairy under the California Environmental Quality Act.

January 2009 – The Center successfully opposed Republican members of the California state legislature that proposed a measure to gut the California Environmental Quality Act as part of ongoing negotiations over the state budget crisis. The proposal would effectively eliminate the requirement under the law to analyze the impacts of new sources of greenhouse gas emissions and would apply retroactively.

May 14, 2009 – As a result of litigation filed by the Center, a California court rejected a proposal to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Yucca Valley, California, because the environmental review improperly dismissed the project’s impacts to climate change.

June 2, 2009 – Following comments and an outreach campaign by the Center and allies, a massive freeway project in Southern California’s Inland Empire was cut in half and delayed.  The Center opposed to the freeway’s impacts to climate change and wildlife preserves.

July 2009 – After formal comments submitted by the Center, the town of Apple Valley made a Climate Action Plan part of its future long-term growth plan.

August 13, 2009 – The Center filed suit over the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s approval of the Cascade Timber Harvest Plan, a project of Sierra Pacific Industries. In approving the plan, the agency failed to consider its greenhouse gas effects, in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act and Forest Practice Act.

August 20, 2009 – The Center filed suit against the Department of Forestry over two more approvals of Sierra Pacific clearcutting plans without the consideration of the emissions to result from the logging.

August 25, 2009 – It was announced that Sierra Pacific Industries formally withdrew its plans for all three logging projects over which the Center filed suit.

January 6, 2010 – The Center announced its support for a Bay Area Air Quality Management District proposal to adopt standards for greenhouse gases and toxics as part of environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act. The standards’ adoption would mean that projects not meeting certain thresholds would be required to take feasible measures to reduce their emissions.

March 8, 2010 – The Center settled two lawsuits brought against Walmart over the global warming impacts of proposed Supercenters in Perris and Yucca Valley, California, requiring the company to take significant measures to reduce the CO2 emissions of the proposed stores, as well as implement a refrigerant audit and improvement program at certain existing Walmart stores in California.

April 22, 2010 – The Center and San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society filed suit challenging the county of Riverside’s approval of the Villages of Lakeview, a massive development of 11,350 residential units and 500,000 square feet of commercial space in a remote area bordering the San Jacinto Wildlife Area. The sprawling mega-development would require long automobile commutes on already congested roads, generating more than 175,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo © iStockphotos.com/Sean Barley