Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities

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SBM Offshore N.V. signs five party $340M leniency agreement to resolve Petrobras bribery allegations in Brazil

SBM Offshore N.V. has reached a $340M settlement with both criminal and administrative prosecutors in Brazil to resolve allegations of bribery relating to the Petrobras scandal, the first deal of its kind in Brazil and a...more

Federal Court of Appeal: Government Failed to Adequately Consult with First Nations on Northern Gateway

On June 23, 2016, the Federal Court of Appeal delivered the Northern Gateway Project another procedural setback in its decision on Gitxaala Nation v Canada (2016 FCA 187). In a 2-to-1 split decision, the court overturned the...more

Forecast is Hazy For EPA’s Regional Haze Oversight Authority

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s disapproval of the Texas and Oklahoma regional haze state implementation plans, as well as EPA’s promulgation of its own federal implementation plan. The...more

FERC v. Maxim Power Corp. - Court Rejects FERC's Interpretation of Penalty Review Procedures; Respondents To Have Their Day In...

In a July 21, 2016 order, a federal district court for the first time in a FERC enforcement matter held that review of an assessed civil penalty pursuant to Section 31(d)(3) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) entails an...more

A double defeat for EPA on regional haze regulations

On Friday, July 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) a stinging double defeat on its partial disapproval of Texas’ regional haze rule (the...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - July 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s July 21, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on July 14, 2016. Agenda items E-6, E-19, E-21 and E-22 have not been...more

California State Water Board Releases Revised Drinking Water Fee Regulations

Public Comments Due July 29th - The State Water Resources Control Board recently released a series of revisions to its proposed Drinking Water Fee Regulations. The revised regulations make a series of amendments to the...more

Regulated Parties – 2, Regulators – 0

The United States Supreme Court has handed regulated parties their second win in four years concerning when they can take EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to court over wetlands permitting issues. In 2012, the...more

One Small Step… Alberta Energy Regulator Makes Change to Interim Measures

HIGHLIGHTS - The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has considered feedback on the interim measures put in place in Bulletin 2016-16 and issued revisions and clarifications in Bulletin 2016-21.....more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

Thoughts on the death of DECC

Over the course of 13 and 14 July 2016, UK’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May, appointed the Secretaries of State who will lead the various Departments of Government. By the end of the process, which was precipitated by the...more

Court Rules BLM Had No Authority To Regulate Fracking On Federal and Native American Lands

In March 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued regulations applying to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. 80 Fed. Reg. 16,128–16,222 (Mar. 26, 2015) (the “Fracking Rule”). The states of Wyoming,...more

Transmission Planning and Construction Right of First Refusal Ruled Unduly Discriminatory, Not Mobile-Sierra Protected

The provision contained in incumbent electric utility tariffs—conferring on the holder the right of first refusal (ROFR) to construct additions to the high-voltage electrical grid, regardless of who conceived of and proposed...more

Administration Signals Intent to Challenge Judicial Decision That Struck Down Fracking Rule as Unlawful

On June 24, the Obama Administration filed its notice of appeal to challenge last week’s federal court decision to strike down the newest regulation over hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands by the Bureau of Land...more

No Longer Business-As-Usual for the CPUC?

Proposed legislation promises to change the meaning of business-as-usual for the California Public Utilities Commission. After rejecting CPUC reform in October, Gov. Jerry Brown aligned with Assemblymember Mike Gatto...more

Edgartown's Muskeget tidal project faces questions

A municipal tidal power project proposed for the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard faces federal deadlines if its licensing process is to continue. The Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy Project, proposed by the Town of...more

The AER Makes Waves with its Response to the Redwater Decision

HIGHLIGHTS The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) issued Bulletin 2016-16 which has put in place interim measures in response to the Court of Queen’s Bench decision in Redwater Energy Corporation (Re) (Redwater) - ...more

BLM Has No Authority To Regulate Fracking, At Least For Now

Yesterday, Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming held that the Bureau of Land Management did not have authority to regulate the environmental impacts of fracking. I think Judge Skavdahl probably got it right, but I...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

If You Don’t Like Nukes, Petition Congress: The D.C. Circuit Affirms the NRC’s GEIR On Nuclear Waste Storage

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges by several states and the NRDC to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the impacts of continued on-site storage...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - U.S. Supreme Court allows pre-permit challenges to approved jurisdictional determinations - Allen Matkins - May 31 - In a major new legal development for the Clean Water Act's...more

Important Wetlands Permitting News: U.S. Supreme Court Allows Pre-Permit Challenges to Approved Jurisdictional Determinations

In a major new legal development for the Clean Water Act's Section 404 wetlands permitting program, landowners can now challenge the federal government's claim that areas targeted for fill are "waters of the United States"...more

U.S. EPA’s Proposed Rule Would Modernize NPDES Regulations

Earlier this month, the United States EPA proposed a rule (“Proposed Rule”) that would update and revise National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) regulations. Rather than reopening the existing NPDES...more

Corps Jurisdictional Determinations Are Final Agency Action: Now What?

In a decision that was not a surprise based on oral argument, the Supreme Court today ruled that Army Corps of Engineers Jurisdictional Determinations concerning “waters of the United States” are final agency action subject...more

Environmental Groups File Suit Seeking Revision of E&P Waste Regulations

On May 4, 2016, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), National Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Earthworks; Center for Health, Environment and Justice; and three other environmental groups (hereinafter collectively...more

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