Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities Environmental

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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

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

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

Environmental Policy Quarterly

Welcome to the Winter 2016 edition of Environmental Policy Quarterly, published jointly by the Environmental, Land and Natural Resources Practice Group and the Public Policy and Law Practice Group of K&L Gates. This...more

Biofuel, Corn, And Sorghum Farmers Challenge Lowered RFS Volumes

On January 8, 2016, seven biofuel and agriculture groups requested the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) for 2014, 2015, and 2016. The Petition was filed by Biotechnology...more

Unlike Keith Richards, I Have Not Fallen Out Of A Tree

Last month, I went out on a limb and predicted that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals would not stay the CPP. Today, the Court vindicated my faith in judicial rationality and refused to grant a stay. In a brief order, the...more

Does the Paris Agreement Provide EPA With Authority Under the CAA To Impose EconomyWide GHG Controls? Count Me Skeptical

In a very interesting article, Michael Burger of the Sabin Center and his co-authors suggest that, following the Paris climate agreement, § 115 of the Clean Air Act provides authority for EPA to develop economy-wide GHG...more

Solar Installer Update: Commerce Issues Preliminary Results in the 2nd Administrative Review of 2012 Antidumping and...

On January 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce (through its International Trade Administration or ITA office) published a notice of Preliminary Results in the 2nd annual Administrative Review for the 2012 and...more

Courts Must Determine The Economic Benefit Of Noncompliance In Assessing CWA Penalties

It is well-known that the “economic benefit of noncompliance” is one of the factors to be evaluated in setting penalties under the Clean Water Act. Thus, it is not surprising that, after an oil spill at Citgo’s facility in...more

2016 Regulatory Forecast: Environmental & Energy Policy

Looking ahead to 2016, federal environmental and energy policies will continue to have a significant impact on businesses across many sectors. That impact will be particularly pronounced as the current Administration...more

New Challenges for CEQA Review of Development Projects After California Supreme Court Invalidates Greenhouse Gas Analysis and...

In a 5-2 ruling that poses significant hurdles for developers addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) compliance and protected species mitigation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Supreme Court...more

California Supreme Court Finds Newhall EIR Insufficient, But Partially Upholds Greenhouse Gas Analysis

On November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. Cal. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Case No. S217763 (Nov. 30, 2015). The decision is the first in a...more

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

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 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

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

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

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