Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities Environmental

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News & Analysis as of

PHMSA Targeting Pipeline Construction - Enforcement Focus on 60-Day Notification Requirement

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has stepped up enforcement efforts concerning pipeline and LNG terminal construction. Construction-related inspections have resulted in a number of recent enforcement...more

Environment Agency changes regulatory approach to existing onshore oil and gas facilities

Earlier this month, the Environment Agency (EA) published a new regulatory position statement on the environmental permitting of existing onshore oil and gas facilities (including shale gas facilities)....more

Recent Settlement Under EPA’s Energy Extraction Initiative Provides Insight For Future Enforcement in the Oil and Gas Industry

Given its patchwork of regulatory authority over operations in the oil and natural gas industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a national enforcement initiative to focus its efforts. Through its...more

Five Years in the Making: Improved Safety for Offshore Oil and Gas Development

Sometimes new regulations come out of nowhere. And sometimes it is just a matter of time. Last week’s unveiling of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) offshore blowout preventer and well control...more

FERC Issues Policy Statement On Natural Gas Pipeline Modernization Cost Recovery

On April 16, 2015, FERC issued a Policy Statement in Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities, Docket No. PL15-1-000, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 (2015). Effective October 1, 2015, the Policy Statement...more

BSEE and DOI Take Action on Five-Year Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon

Action Item: BSEE has proposed significant changes to BOP systems and well operations in light of the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Stakeholders in offshore oil and gas operations should carefully...more

MassDEP Provided Substantial Discretion to Interpret Legislative Mandate in Global Warming Solutions Act

Just how much discretion will the courts give to the MassDEP to interpret legislative intent when it implements legislative directives such as a requirement to develop rules under the Global Warming Solutions Act? The...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments April 2015

EAB Reverses Epic Penalty In Elementis Case, But Affirms EPA's "Continuing" TSCA Section 8(e) Interpretation: On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) reversed the...more

Landowners, Developers Win Big In Wetlands Case

Building on a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Eighth Circuit ruled on April 10th that Clean Water Act jurisdictional determinations made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be challenged in a “pre-enforcement”...more

Reporting Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals - New BLM Rules and EPA Study Spotlight FracFocus

In the past ten days, the federal government has articulated different views on the utility and effectiveness of FracFocus, a website used by many operators to report the chemicals used to fracture their wells. In its final...more

Proposed Framework for Mandatory Water Use Reductions in California Released

Fast Track Ahead for Emergency Regulations - The State Water Resources Control Board late Tuesday issued the draft framework for forthcoming emergency regulations designed to help the state conserve water in the face...more

Here’s Another Nice Mess: Executive Order 562 Claims Its First Victim

Last Friday, I posted about Governor Baker’s Executive Order 562, which requires cost-benefit analysis, cost effectiveness analysis – and more – before state agencies can promulgate regulations. It took less than a week...more

When Uncertainty Surrounds California Solar Project, Court Defers to Agency Not Tortoise

Project opponents have been invoking the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with increasing regularity in an attempt to block the construction of large-scale renewable energy projects. ...more

California Governor Orders 25% Cut in Water Use—What It Means for Businesses

California is experiencing a drought of epic proportions. To meet this challenge, on April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 to usher in an aggressive statewide plan for reducing water...more

What the Drought Emergency Declaration Means for Your Business

By Executive Order B-29-15, signed on April 1, 2015, Governor Brown declared a state of drought emergency “to exist throughout the State of California ….” Among other things, the recitals state: WHEREAS a distinct...more

California Water Suppliers Facing Historic Mandatory Restrictions on Water Usage

Governor’s Goal: 25 Percent Statewide Water Savings - For the first time in California’s history, urban water suppliers will soon be required to comply with new mandatory restrictions aimed at achieving a statewide 25...more

Focus on Regulatory Law - March 2015

REGULATORY AUTHORITIES - FRENCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY – TDF fined for anti-competitive practices: In a 2009 opinion issued at the request of the French regulator for electronic and postal communications (ARCEP)...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Regional Water Quality Control Board's TMDL Based on Pollutants in Lake Bed Sediment

On March 30, 2015, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upheld a novel, sediment-based total maximum daily load (TMDL) set by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) for McGrath...more

California Public Agency Officials Respond to Governor’s Drought Executive Order

While everyone in California is being asked to conserve water in response to the historic drought, public agencies will be impacted in a different way — how they conduct business....more

Governor Brown Orders California’s First Mandatory Water Restrictions

On Wednesday April 1, 2015, in the wake of the state’s four-year drought and a winter that brought record-low snowfalls, Governor Brown issued an executive order mandating statewide water use restrictions for the first time...more

BLM Publishes Final Public Lands Fracking Rule, Industry Responds with Lawsuit

The federal Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), within the Department of the Interior (“DOI”), published their final rule on hydraulic fracturing last Thursday, March 26.  (Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands, 80...more

Department of the Interior Releases Comprehensive New Rules on "Fracking"

On March 26, 2015, the Department of the Interior formally published a comprehensive set of new rules regarding Hydraulic Fracturing, commonly known as “fracking.” Several years in the making, the new rules — which go into...more

Department of Interior Releases Revised Rules on Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

A final rule that seeks to address perceived risks associated with hydraulic fracturing was published by the Department of Interior (DOI) in the Federal Register on March 26, 2015. The rule revises existing Bureau of Land...more

Measures to improve energy performance of non-domestic buildings: Scottish implementation timetable announced

Following recent consultation, the Scottish Government has confirmed the timetable for the publication and implementation of regulations to be made under section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009....more

State Water Resources Control Board Gets New Tools to Fight Fraud on Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund

Senate Bill No. 445 ("SB 445"), signed into law by California Governor Brown late last year, makes several significant changes to the Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Trust Fund Act of 1989 ("The Fund Act"). The...more

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