Ankur Tohan

Ankur Tohan

K&L Gates LLP

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Eagle Take Permit Program Revamped – Longer Permits and Clearer Mitigation Requirements

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) recently proposed revisions to its regulations authorizing take of bald and golden eagles. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“BGEPA”) imposes criminal and...more

5/25/2016 - Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Mitigation NEPA US Fish and Wildlife Service Wind Power

High Court Grants Stay of Clean Power Plan

On February 9, 2016, in an historic and unprecedented decision, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) from implementing the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) while the rule is challenged in...more

2/15/2016 - Air Pollution Carbon Emissions Clean Air Act Clean Power Plan EPA MATS National Emissions Standards SCOTUS Stays

Washington State Department of Ecology Proposes GHG Limits in “Clean Air Rule”

The Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) kicked off what promises to be a busy year in state-level greenhouse gas (“GHG”) regulation by releasing a first draft of the Washington Clean Air Rule (the “Rule” or the...more

1/22/2016 - Clean Power Plan Climate Change EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Methane National Emissions Standards

The Final Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule: Impacts to Energy Infrastructure Projects

Last spring, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) published a final rule to list the northern long-eared bat (the “Bat”) as a threatened species and an interim 4(d) rule under the Endangered Species Act (the...more

1/20/2016 - Conservation Endangered Species Act (ESA) Energy Sector ESA Listings Final Rules US Fish and Wildlife Service Wind Power

FAST Act Expedites Permitting and Environmental Review for Large Infrastructure Projects

Expedited permitting and environmental review for complex infrastructure projects may soon be a reality. Buried at the end of its most recent transportation reauthorization package (the “FAST Act” or “Act”) is a significant...more

1/11/2016 - Construction Industry Critical Infrastructure Sectors Energy Sector Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) NEPA Permits

Defining the Scope of Waters of the United States: Supreme Court to Decide Whether Federal Courts Will Be Able to Review Clean...

For 30 years developers, agencies and courts have struggled over defining the purview of Clean Water Act jurisdiction (“CWA” or the “Act”). However, three U.S. Supreme Court rulings and a revised federal rule attempting to...more

12/23/2015 - Clean Water Act EPA Jurisdiction SCOTUS US Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the United States Wetlands

Presidential Memorandum Promotes Pre-Project Mitigation and Restoration Banking: Implications for Energy Projects and Related...

On November 3, 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum (Memorandum) that potentially opens the door to agency attempts to expand mitigation obligations beyond what is required under law while also...more

12/18/2015 - Bureau of Land Management Energy Projects Energy Sector Forest Service Mitigation US Fish and Wildlife Service

Clean Water Rule Stayed Nationwide

On October 9, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a stay of the Obama Administration’s new rule defining the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The stay postpones...more

10/15/2015 - Appeals Clean Water Act Clean Water Rule EPA Obama Administration Regulatory Agenda Stays Subject Matter Jurisdiction US Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the United States

Greater Sage-Grouse Avoids ESA Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, that it would not list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). This decision represents a change of direction...more

9/28/2015 - Bureau of Land Management Critical Habitat Department of the Interior Endangered Species Act (ESA) ESA Listings Forest Service Habitat Conservation Plan US Fish and Wildlife Service

Where You Operate Matters: the Fifth Circuit Widens the Split on MBTA Liability

Last week the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling that reduces uncertainty regarding criminal liability for taking migratory birds. In particular, the ruling alleviates potential liability for facilities where interactions with...more

9/16/2015 - Bird Fatalities Endangered Species Act (ESA) Energy Sector Manufacturers Migratory Bird Treaty Act Oil & Gas Petroleum Power Plants

Eagles Back in the Nest: FWS 30-Year Eagle “Take” Rule Vacated Less than Two Years after Implementation

On August 11, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California struck down a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) regulation that increased the maximum duration of programmatic permits...more

9/4/2015 - Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Conservation Endangered Species Endangered Species Act (ESA) Environmental Assessments Environmental Impact Report (EIR) ESA Listings NEPA US Fish and Wildlife Service

Greater sage-grouse and land use in the inter-mountain west

The greater sage-grouse—a ground-dwelling, chicken-like bird—has been the focus of controversy pitting conservation against energy development and ranching interests across the inter-mountain west. The greater sage-grouse’s...more

8/31/2015 - Bureau of Land Management Critical Habitat Endangered Species Endangered Species Act (ESA) Environmental Impact Report (EIR) ESA Listings Federal Land Forest Service Habitat Conservation Plan Natural Resources Non-Profits Oil & Gas Private Property US Fish and Wildlife Service USDA

Bats in the Balance: Northern Long-Eared Bat Listing and Interim 4(d) Rule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) recently listed the northern long-eared bat (the “Bat”) as a “threatened” species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) and issued an interim “species-specific” rule...more

5/8/2015 - Endangered Species Act (ESA) ESA Listings Takings US Fish and Wildlife Service

Greenhouse Gases and Environmental Review: CEQ’s expansive view on how NEPA treats GHGs

On December 18, 2014, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed revised guidance (“Guidance”) directing how federal agencies should consider greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change when...more

2/19/2015 - CEQ Climate Change Environmental Policies Environmental Review Greenhouse Gas Emissions Guidance Update Motor Carriers NEPA Trucking Industry

Critical Habitat and the Endangered Species Act: Proposed Revisions to Fundamental Regulatory Concepts

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the “Services”) issued notices of proposed rules and a proposed policy related to the designation of...more

8/19/2014 - Clean Water Act Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act (ESA) National Marine Fisheries Service Permits Proposed Regulation US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service

Facing Two Strikes, EPA Gets a Hit: Supreme Court Upholds EPA Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Two years ago, we reported that the D.C. Circuit vacated and remanded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) second attempt at regulation of air pollution crossing state borders. Facing two strikes, EPA swung for...more

5/2/2014 - Air Pollution Clean Air Act Cross-State Air Pollution Environmental Policies EPA EPA v EME Homer City SCOTUS Transport Rule

Koontz: The latest chapter in land use permitting and takings

In a landmark environmental case, the United States Supreme Court expanded the scope of potential governmental liability for takings. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt. Dist, 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court held that...more

11/25/2013 - Dolan v City of Tigard Koontz v St John's River Water Management Nexus Nollan v California Coastal Commission Rough Proportionality Test SCOTUS Takings

The New 2013 Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance: Certainty for the Industry or Dust in the Wind?

The new Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS”) presents an interesting question for wind project developers and operators – does it really provide greater certainty and reduce...more

5/30/2013 - Bird Fatalities Renewable Energy State Department of Fish and Wildlife Wind Power

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