This morning, the California Court of Appeal issued its long-awaited decision in California Association for Recreational Fishing v. Department of Fish & Wildlife. PLF represented California’s recreational fishing interests in a challenge to regulations adopted by the Department in an Environmental Impact Report it certified in 2010. The issue is that the Department is not permitted to adopt regulations through an Environmental Impact Report. Regulations must be passed pursuant to the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

There are many reasons for the APA requirements. For one, the APA gives the regulated public a chance to review and comment on proposed regulations, so that they are not caught completely off-guard by regulations affecting them. Additionally, the APA requires agencies to identify the significant economic impacts that will result from a regulation. It also requires agencies to cite the statutory authority for a proposed regulation. The list goes on. In a nutshell, the APA assures that when an agency adopts a regulation, the interests that will be most affected have an opportunity to shape those regulations.  Here, the Department ignored the APA, adopted regulations without any of the procedural safeguards, and expected the recreational fishing interests to simply abide its commands…

Read the full post on the PLF blog.