Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities Environmental

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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

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

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

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

EPA’s Estimate of the “Social Cost of Methane” Used to Justify New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas...

On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued proposed New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) under the Clean Air Act covering methane and volatile organic compound (“VOC”) emissions...more

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under...more

EPA Hits Oil and Gas Industry With a Flurry of Proposed Methane Regulations

EPA took major steps on August 18, 2015 to curtail methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by simultaneously releasing four new proposed rules. These actions are part of the Obama Administration’s larger climate...more

Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Next Step, Landfill Methane

Having gotten the Clean Power Plan out the door, EPA has moved on to another target of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: landfill methane emissions. Late last week, EPA proposed both new emission guidelines for...more

Ninth Circuit Finds ESA 60-Day Notice "Adequate" and Resurrects Challenge to Suction Dredge Mining Suit

On August 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court order dismissing an Endangered Species Act ("ESA") lawsuit on the grounds plaintiffs provided inadequate notice. Klamath-Siskiyou...more

Open Meeting Of The Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee Announced

On August 10, 2015, the Federal Register included a notice announcing an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in Washington D.C. on August 27, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - 15 states sue to block enforcement of Obama administration climate change rules: Bloomberg - Aug 13: Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia – but not including California - asked...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, August 2015

EPA Issues Direct Final Rule On Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting: On July 20, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule amending the Toxic Substances Control Act...more

Clean Power Plan Finalized by Obama Administration and EPA — What's Next?

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new set of final regulations aimed at reducing carbon output from power plants. The sweeping new Clean Power Plan (CPP) sets limits...more

EPA Clean Power Plan – Final GHG Rule for New and Existing Power Plants

On August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced its “Clean Power Plan”: the final version of its proposed rule issued in June 2014 to set carbon dioxide (“CO2”) standards for existing power...more

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