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US FWS Releases Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan

On April 15, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued its Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) proposing a regional approach to...more

US Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Judgment Upholding Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act,...

On June 6, 2016, in Backcountry Against Dumps et al. v. Jewell et al., the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of California upholding federal...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

Sixth Circuit Determines it has Jurisdiction to Hear Challenges to the Clean Water Rule

On February 22, 2016, in a 2-1 decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined it has jurisdiction over the numerous legal challenges to the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule), thus siding with the position...more

Sixth Circuit Stays Obama Administration’s New Clean Water Rule Nationwide

On October 9, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stayed the implementation of the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule) nationwide. The Final Rule defines “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), a threshold term...more

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Blocking the Obama Administration’s New Clean Water Rule From Taking Effect

On August 27, 2015, the US District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against implementation of the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule). The Final Rule defines Waters of the United States...more

Proposed Rule from US Department of the Interior Increases Pressure on Coal Mining Industry

On July 27, 2015, the US Department of the Interior, through its Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), proposed to revise regulations adopted under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that the BLM’s Grant of a Right-of-Way for a Road Over Federal Land Does Not Trigger Consultation Under the...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) grant of a right-of-way over federal land for a road (the Road Project) for a wind energy project...more

EPA and Army Corps Issue Final Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Those currently or potentially subject to Clean Water Act regulation should plan for expanded federal jurisdiction upon implementation of the Clean Water Rule’s broad new definition of “waters of the United...more

Nine Western States Throw Their Support Behind Case Challenging Reach of the Endangered Species Act

On May 26, nine western states filed an amicus brief in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO) v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service urging the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to limit the reach of...more

Legislature Approves $1 Billion Drought Relief Legislation; Governor Brown Expected to Sign

California Legislature Enacts Bill Package on Drought - On Thursday March 26, 2015, the California Legislature adopted legislation which it describes as allocating approximately $1 billion to emergency drought relief...more

Climate Action Plan for San Diego County Struck Down Under CEQA by Court of Appeal for Failure to Comply with Requirements for...

On October 29, 2014, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of California upheld the Sierra Club’s challenges to the County of San Diego’s (“County”) approval of a climate action plan (“CAP”) and related significance thresholds...more

Massive California Water Bond Slated for November 4 General Election as Proposition 1

2014 Water Bond targets state’s long-term water needs and aquatic ecosystems. Two months from today, the California electorate will vote up or down on a massive water bond which Governor Jerry Brown signed on August...more

Hydraulic Fracturing Update: Legal Developments and Trends

On a March 18, 2014 webcast, a panel of senior US Latham & Watkins lawyers from our Environmental Department provided an overview of recent key developments related to hydraulic fracturing. Presented below are answers to some...more

Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project Upheld in District Court on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims

On March 25, 2014, in The Protect Our Communities Foundation et al. v. Jewell et al. , the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued a decision on a challenge to the Tule Wind Project and found in favor...more

Decision on Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm

On March 14, 2014, in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility et al. v. Beaudreu et al., the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision on multiple challenges to the Cape Wind Offshore Wind...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds NEPA and NHPA Analysis for Hawaii High-Speed Rail System

On February 18, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Department of Transportation Act to the...more

California Agency Releases Draft Rules for Fracking, Begins to Implement Recent State Legislation

Oil and gas companies and oil-­field service providers with California operations should scrutinize newly proposed rules on hydraulic fracturing and well stimulation, with comments due by mid-­January. Introduction...more

Ocotillo Wind-Energy Project Prevails in NEPA and Migratory Bird Treaty Act Challenges

On November 6, 2013, in The Protect Our Communities Foundation v. Salazar, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California rejected a challenge to the Ocotillo wind-energy project based on the National...more

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