Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities

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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

FERC Grants Extension of Time for Natural Gas Storage Company to Construct Expansion Facilities Over More Than 250 Comments in...

On May 16, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Arlington Storage Company, LLC (Arlington) a two-year extension of time to construct a previously authorized underground natural gas storage expansion project....more

More Than Chickens, Lizards and Polar Bears – Environmental Case Law Update (Dec. 2015 – Mar. 2016)

This blog, although not brief, is a brief report on some of the significant environmental law and administrative cases decided in late December and the first quarter of 2016. U.S. SUPREME COURT - FERC Final Rule re...more

EPA Denies Five Petitions for Reconsideration of New Source Performance Standards

On April 29, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied petitions by the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG), American Electric Power (AEP), Ameren Corp., the State of Wisconsin, and the Energy and Environmental Legal...more

Better Late Than Never: Massachusetts Moves to Obtain NPDES Delegation

Like most federal environmental programs, NPDES program authority is largely delegated to the states. Only four states aren’t delegated: Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. How is it that progressive...more

Elevated Fine Lacks Justification, Mine Safety Agency Attorney Concedes

A government attorney agreed with opposing counsel that the Mine Safety and Health Administration had not justified a proposed 127 percent increase in fines against an Illinois coal operator. The two sides disagreed, however,...more

Court of Appeal Sustains CPUC's Discretion to Fill Gaps in Statutory Scheme for Intervenor Compensation but Requires CPUC to Limit...

The California Court of Appeal (1st Dist., Div. 4) issued an important decision on April 19, 2016, in New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC v. Public Utilities Commission, addressing a determination by the California Public...more

CPUC Implementation of the Renewables Portfolio Standard Beyond 2020 Begins

The California Public Utilities Commission is revving itself up to take on the task of putting together a whole new set of procurement requirements to implement the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)-related provisions of...more

When Does “Anomalous” Become “Normal”? Another ROE Decision, Another Finding of Anomalous Market Conditions

On March 22, 2016, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Steven L. Sterner issued an Initial Decision in the second round of Complaint cases (“Complaints II and III”)...more

Andrew Lipman on Tracking Net Neutrality  [Video]

Andrew Lipman, head of the telecommunications, media and technology group at Morgan Lewis, talks about the group's role in the regulatory and legal processes shaping the debate surrounding net neutrality....more

FERC Signals Intention to Closely Scrutinize Late Interventions

Movants must clear high hurdle once parties reach settlement in principle. On March 9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) issued an order in Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, LLC (Maritimes...more

Supreme Court to Hear Appeals on Role of Tribunals in Duty to Consult

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted leave to appeal in two cases concerning the ability of a regulatory tribunal to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult. In Hamlet of Clyde River v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical...more

Senate Bill in Georgia Seeks to Expand Scope of Trade Secret Protection

On February 2, 2016, Georgia State Senator Hunter Hill introduced Senate Bill 321 in the Georgia Senate. The bill is entitled “Commerce and Trade; state government; protections against public disclosure of certain...more

Critical Habitat for Right Whales Expanded

Action Item: The National Marine Fisheries Services (“NMFS”) promulgated a final rule identifying critical habitats for the endangered Northern Atlantic Right Whale. Stakeholders involved in spill response, ocean and offshore...more

NSR Enforcement Staggers On: A Split Decision in Missouri

Given EPA’s recent run of defeats in its NSR enforcement initiative, it’s probably breathing a sigh of relief over last week’s decision in United States v. Ameren Missouri, regarding Ameren’s Rush Island coal-fired power...more

In Cooperative Federalism, Who Gets Deference, EPA or the States? Can you say “Federal Supremacy”?

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit denied Arizona’s challenge to EPA’s decision to reject Arizona’s SIP addressing regional haze requirements and instead promulgate its own federal implementation plan. The decision has a...more

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