Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, November 2015

EPA Extends Public Comment Period On Three Flame Retardant Clusters: On August 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment three Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan...more

UPDATE: Texas RRC Agrees Earthquakes Not Caused by EnerVest, XTO Injection Wells

In a November 3 decision, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) agreed with an administrative law judge (ALJ) that two wastewater injection wells, one operated by EnerVest Operating LLC and the other by Exxon Mobil Corp....more

California Water Board Considering Extension Of Emergency Drought Regulations

Mandatory Water Restrictions Could Run Beyond February, Depending On Rain and Snowfall - The State Water Resources Control Board is contemplating extending the mandatory emergency water restrictions that it imposed...more

As El Nino Looms, State Weighs Extension of Conservation Regs

Rains have begun to return to California as El Nino emerges from the Pacific Ocean. After four years of drought, water providers throughout the state have begun to question how state government should approach conservation...more

Current Water Utility CCN Decertification Issues At The Public Utility Commission Of Texas

The responsibility for the regulation of water and sewer service, including the oversight of certificates of public convenience and necessity (“CCNs”), was recently transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental...more

Citing Costs and Timing, PUC Denies Xcel Energy’s Request for Contested Case

During a public hearing yesterday, the Public Utilities Commission denied Xcel Energy’s request for a contested case hearing for the next stage of developing the Minnesota Community Solar Garden Program (the “CSG Program”)....more

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Revises Regulations Governing Bulk Storage Tanks

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued revised regulations, effective October 11, 2015, governing the management and bulk storage of petroleum and hazardous substances. Corresponding...more

EPA’s OCSPP Agrees to More Communication, Transparency, and Efficiency When Processing Pesticide Petitions

On October 27, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on an evaluation conducted by OIG entitled “EPA Needs Policies and Procedures to Manage Public Pesticide...more

EPA Officially Commences Unprecedented Regulation of Power Plants, Threatening Grid Reliability - Litigation Ensues

On October 23, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register its new rules to limit emissions from power plants. The most significant rule limits CO2 emissions from existing power plants....more

Regulations Adopted for Changing Boundaries of California Groundwater Basins

The California Water Commission on Wednesday adopted new regulations for modifying the boundaries of groundwater basins and subbasins. The action marked the latest step in the state’s rollout of the Sustainable Groundwater...more

Supreme Court Questions FERC Authority to Regulate Electricity Market Demand Response to Bolster Grid Reliability

Ensuring the reliability of the electric power grid in times of extreme weather and other times of peak usage is critical to avoid interruptions in power and black outs. Reflecting on the 2014 Polar Vortex, the paramount...more

EPA Issues New Regulation Governing Air Quality Standards for Ozone

New Standards Could be Costly for California’s Public Agencies - The United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule earlier this month strengthening the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - October 2015

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s October 15, 2015 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on October 8, 2015. Agenda Items E-6, E-7 and E-10 have not been...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Limits on Tribunal Participation in Reviews of Its Own Decisions

In an increasingly regulated world, governments have established a litany of administrative tribunals to oversee and administer complex regulatory schemes. Often, applying their specialized expertise, such tribunals...more

No Good Public Policy Goes Unpunished: Superior Court Challenge to Utility's Implementation of CPUC General Order 156 Moves...

The California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) is a state agency vested with considerable constitutional and statutory powers. Historically, the CPUC has wielded these powers primarily in pursuit of its traditional...more

SEP Right for You? EPA Updates its Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently updated its Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) Policy. Most federal actions for failure to comply with the environmental laws are resolved through settlement...more

Federal Court Halts Implementation of BLM Fracking Rules

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming held that the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") did not have Congressional authority to promulgate and finalize hydraulic...more

Nexen’s Fracking Water License has Run Dry - First Nation Prevails in BC Environmental Appeal Board Decision

First Nation Prevails in BC Environmental Appeal Board Decision By Mike Theroux, Brad Gilmour and Laura Gill In a decision released on September 3, 2015, the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board granted the appeal of...more

RFA Responds To Oregon’s Proposal To Use ILUC Emissions Under CFP

On September 15, 2015, Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proposed using hypothetical indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions while calculating the carbon intensity of biofuels under the Clean Fuels Program...more

Second Railroad Commission Decision Agrees Injection Well Not Likely Contributor to Earthquakes

Texas Railroad Commission examiners have determined that a well operated by EnerVest Operating LLC likely did not contribute to a series of earthquakes in the state, mirroring a similar determination made on August 31 in a...more

Trade Secrets Protected From Disclosure Under FOIA…Except For When They Aren’t

We have previously reported about protecting trade secrets from disclosure after a FOIA request. There is something to be said for immediate action and intervening to protect your trade secrets, but sometimes that just isn’t...more

Blog: District Court Compels SEC To Provide “Expedited Schedule” For Issuing Dodd-Frank Resource Extraction Rule — Will Other Rule...

A U.S. District Court has handed a victory to Oxfam America in its efforts to compel the SEC to complete rulemaking on the Dodd-Frank mandate regarding resource extraction disclosures (Section 1504). ...more

U.S. State Department Targets Russian, Iranian Firms in Sanctions Move Against WMD and Missile Proliferation

The U.S. Department of State imposed sanctions on September 2, 2015, against 23 companies around the world for involvement in the transfer or purchase to or from Iran, North Korea or Syria of goods, services or technology...more

California PUC Set to Address Handling of Confidential Records

On August 14, 2015 California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Rafael Lirag extended the deadline for public comment in the CPUC Confidentiality/Public Records Act rulemaking proceeding. This...more

While New Methane Rules Get Most of the Attention, EPA Also Proposes New Site Aggregation Policies for the Oil and Gas Sector and...

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") released and asked for comments on a number of proposed rules affecting the oil and gas industry. While the methane emission regulations have received the...more

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