Paul B. Smyth

Paul B. Smyth

Perkins Coie

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Ninth Circuit Finds Navy’s Low Frequency Active Sonar Program Violates Marine Mammal Protection Act

In NRDC v. Pritzker, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit confirmed that the Marine Mammal Protection Act’s (MMPA) incidental take authorizations will be construed narrowly and conservatively, giving the benefit of...more

8/12/2016 - Adverse Action Environmental Violations Harassment Impact Assessments Incidental Take Permits Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) National Marine Fisheries Service NRDC Sonar U.S. Navy

Controversy Over Interior’s Trust Authority in Alaska Remains Unresolved

A majority panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently dismissed the State of Alaska’s challenge to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s authority to acquire land in trust for Alaska...more

7/8/2016 - Administrative Procedure Act Alaska Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Anti-Discrimination Policies Department of the Interior Due Process Environmental Policies Equal Protection Fourteenth Amendment Native American Issues Tribal Lands

Supreme Court Rules that Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Are Reviewable in Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 31, 2016 that an approved jurisdictional determination issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act is a final agency action subject to judicial review. Hawkes Co.,...more

6/2/2016 - Administrative Appeals Administrative Procedure Act Clean Water Act EPA Hawkes Co v United States Army Corps of Engineers Judicial Review Jurisdictional Determination (JD) Land Developers Permits Property Owners SCOTUS US Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the United States Wetlands

If At First You Do Not Succeed: Fish and Wildlife Service Tries Again With 30-Year Eagle Act Permit

On May 6, 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS or Service) published a proposed rule (Proposed Rule) that would substantially change how the Service administers its conservation and management program under the Bald and...more

6/1/2016 - Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Endangered Species Endangered Species Act (ESA) Energy Sector Incidental Take Permits NEPA Renewable Energy US Fish and Wildlife Service Wind Power

Congress Enacts Federal Permitting Improvements to Speed Infrastructure Projects

Congress enacted the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, also known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (the FAST Act) on December 4, 2015. A part of the FAST Act, Title XLI—Federal...more

1/12/2016 - Construction Industry Critical Infrastructure Sectors Environmental Review Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) NEPA New Legislation Surface Transportation

Supreme Court to Resolve Split on Court Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week to review a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that jurisdictional determinations under the Clean Water Act are final agency actions subject to judicial...more

12/16/2015 - Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Land Developers SCOTUS US Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the United States

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Clean Water Rule Nationwide

In an attempt to “temporarily silence[] the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has blocked the new rule defining “waters of the United States” under the...more

10/13/2015 - Appeals Clean Water Act EPA Jurisdiction Stays US Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the United States

The Ninth Circuit Holds Transfer of Water in Klamath River Basin Does Not Require Clean Water Act NPDES Permit

On August 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Oregon district court’s ruling that a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is not required for the discharge of water from...more

8/26/2015 - Bureau of Reclamation Clean Water Act EPA Los Angeles County Flood Control District NPDES NRDC Permits SCOTUS

New Fracking Regulations on Disclosure and Disposal Could Cost Industry $32M Per Year

New regulations setting standards for hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, in oil and gas wells drilled on federal lands were issued recently by the Obama administration through the U.S. Department of the...more

3/25/2015 - Bureau of Land Management Chemicals Disclosure Requirements Drilling Waste Disposal Fracking Government Land Oil & Gas Regulatory Standards Well Drilling

New Proposed Rule on Valuation of Oil & Gas and Coal Leases

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue of the Department of the Interior recently issued a proposed rule to change the valuation process for the payment of royalties for oil and gas produced from Federal onshore and offshore...more

2/13/2015

BLM Issues Proposed Rule to Establish Competitive Leasing for Renewable Energy Projects on Public Lands

On September 30, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management issued a proposed rule that would establish competitive processes, terms, and conditions, including rental and bonding requirements, for solar and wind energy development...more

10/13/2014 - Bureau of Land Management Energy Projects Ground Leases NEPA Proposed Regulation Public Land Solar Energy Wind Power

Final Endangered Species Act Policy Revises Definition of “Significant Portion of Its Range”

On July 1, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published a final policy providing their interpretation of the phrase ‘‘significant portion of its range,’’ which is part...more

7/3/2014 - Endangered Species Act (ESA) Final Rules National Marine Fisheries Service Statutory Interpretation US Fish and Wildlife Service

Proposed Endangered Species Act Regulations Would Change Critical Habitat Rules

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published two proposed regulations and a draft policy concerning critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species...more

5/14/2014 - Critical Habitat Endangered Species Endangered Species Act (ESA) ESA Listings US Fish and Wildlife Service

EPA And Corps Of Engineers Release Proposed Rule On Scope Of Waters Covered Under Clean Water Act That Would Significantly Expand...

On April 21, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly published a proposed rule to define those waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United...more

4/22/2014 - Clean Water Act EPA Jurisdiction US Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the United States

Federal Court Upholds First Offshore Oil And Gas Lease Sales After Gulf Oil Spill

On March 31, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a memorandum opinion upholding the approval, by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, of the first oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico...more

4/10/2014 - BOEM NEPA Oil & Gas

The EPA And The Corps Of Engineers Release Proposed Rule On The Scope Of Waters Covered Under The Clean Water Act

On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to define those waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United...more

3/31/2014 - Clean Water Act Environmental Policies EPA US Army Corps of Engineers

EPA Moves To Expand Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

The prolonged controversy over the Clean Water Act’s reach may be coming to a dramatic head. On September 17, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the release of a draft scientific report finding that all of...more

9/25/2013 - Clean Water Act Environmental Policies EPA Water Wetlands

Bureau Of Safety And Environmental Enforcement Announces New Rule For Safety And Environmental Management Systems

In an effort to reduce the occurrence of accidents, injuries and spills during oil and gas activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) of the U.S. Department of...more

4/10/2013 - Bureau of Safety and Envirnonmental Enforcement Environmental Management Systems Oil & Gas

BSEE Issues Draft Policy Statement Implementing Safety Culture For Regulated Activities On The OCS

On December 19, 2012, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a draft Policy Statement that is intended to ensure a positive safety culture in those entities, including previously unregulated service...more

12/28/2012 - Bureau of Safety and Envirnonmental Enforcement Outer Continental Shelf

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