COMMUNITIES FOR A BETTER ENVIRONMENT v. CITY OF RICHMOND
184 Cal.App.4th 70 (2010)
COMMUNITIES FOR A BETTER ENVIRONMENT et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents,
CITY OF RICHMOND, Defendant and Appellant;
CHEVRON PRODUCTS COMPANY et al., Real Parties in Interest and Appellants.
Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division Four.
April 26, 2010.
Randy E. Riddle, City Attorney, K. Scott Dickey, Chief Deputy City Attorney; Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, Ellen J. Garber, Jeannette M. MacMillan and Kristin B. Burford for Defendant and Appellant.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Ronald E. Van Buskirk, Kevin M. Fong and Todd W. Smith for Real Parties in Interest and Appellants.
Communities for a Better Environment, Adrienne L. Bloch, Shana Lazerow; Earthjustice, William B. Rostov and Deborah S. Reames for Plaintiffs and Respondents.
Matthew Vespa for Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Defense Center and the Planning and Conservation League as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.
RUVOLO, P. J.—I.INTRODUCTION
On April 6, 2005, Chevron Products Company (Chevron) submitted an application to the City of Richmond (City) for the necessary permits to proceed with construction of the Chevron Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project (the Project). The Project was designed to replace and upgrade certain manufacturing facilities at the Chevron Richmond Refinery (the Refinery), with the objective of improving the Refinery's ability to process a more varied mix of crude oil types from a wider variety of sources than it currently processes. Approximately three years later, on July 17, 2008, by a five-to-four vote, the Richmond City Council (City Council) issued Chevron the necessary permits to proceed with construction of the Project after finding that the
final environmental impact report (EIR) had been completed in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.; CEQA).1
Communities for a Better Environment, West County Toxics Coalition, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (collectively, respondents) filed a petition for writ of mandate against the City and Chevron, arguing that the environmental review of the Project was flawed because the EIR failed to disclose, analyze and mitigate all the potential environmental impacts of the Project. The trial court granted the writ, holding that the EIR violated CEQA based on its failure to provide an adequate project description, its failure to consider the whole project, and its failure to define mitigation measures for greenhouse gas emissions. Chevron appeals, arguing the trial court's decision was "based on erroneous factual assumptions regarding the nature of the Project, application of the incorrect standard of review, and clear legal error." We affirm in part and reverse in part.2II.