Administrative Agency Environmental

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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FERC Dismisses Electric Cooperatives’ Maryland Community Solar Program PURPA Case as Premature

On November 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order dismissing a petition for declaratory filed by two Maryland electric cooperatives requesting a FERC finding that regulations governing...more

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issues Regulatory Guidance Letter on Approved Jurisdictional Determinations

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has just issued a Regulatory Guidance Letter which provides to property owners (including developers) the right of appeal USACE Approved Jurisdictional...more

Use of long-term climate projections for bearded seal listing not necessarily a bellwether for Endangered Species Act decisions

The Ninth Circuit this week upheld a National Marine Fisheries Service decision to list the Pacific bearded seal as threatened under the Endangered Species Act based primarily on threats from climate change, reversing a...more

EPA Must Consider Regulatory Impacts on Coal/Utility Industry Jobs and Plant Closure

On October 17, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia granted summary judgment to Murray Energy Corporation and its subsidiary coal companies, including UtahAmerican Energy, Inc. The decision...more

Update on the regulation of the Moroccan electricity sector

As host of the upcoming COP22, Morocco has been pursuing the liberalisation of its energy sector. On 4 May 2016, Morocco's House of Counsellors adopted the law No.48-15 (the "Law") in order to regulate the electricity sector...more

EPA Must Evaluate Job Losses From Its Regulations: Blame Ralph Nader!

Last week, Judge John Preston Bailey ruled that EPA had violated a non-discretionary duty by failing comply with the requirement of § 321(a) of the Clean Air Act that it...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

EPA Taking First Actions to Restrict Existing Chemical Uses

On October 11, 2016, EPA announced the start of expedited rulemaking to restrict the existing uses of five widely used chemicals that have been identified as being toxic, persistent and/or bioaccumulative in the environment...more

TSCA Reform Will Fundamentally Change U.S. Chemical Regulation

Astonishingly, in an election year and at a time of unprecedented partisanship, this past June, Congress adopted significant reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) with sweeping support from both sides of the...more

New Modifications to the Proposition 65 Regulations

The modifications significantly change both the AG’s Regulations and OEHHA’s Clear and Reasonable Warnings provisions. California’s Office of Administrative Law recently approved important changes to two sets of Proposition...more

First Circuit Affirms US Park Service Designation of Long Wharf Pavilion Area for Public Recreational Use

On September 23, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concluded that, “for now, at least, the long war over Long Wharf is at an end.” The Court’s ruling in Boston Redevelopment Auth. v. Nat’l Park...more

2017 "Reset" of TSCA Inventory Will Affect All Chemical Users

The cornerstone of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is EPA's Section 6(b)(4) mandate to review the risk of each existing chemical in commerce and to regulate its use where unreasonable risks are found. With...more

Department of Energy Updates Integrated Interagency Pre-Application Process for Electric Transmission Projects 

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a final rule which revises the agency's regulations governing its Integrated Interagency Pre-Application (IIP) process and...more

Patience and Perseverance Paves the Way for Air-izona

John Quincy Adams is credited with saying: “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” This is certainly apropos for Arizona in light of recent federal actions...more

Shell Pays Big for Double Dipping with the UST Fund

Last week, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced that it permanently banned 100 of Shell Oil Company’s underground storage tank (UST) claims from the California UST Cleanup Fund...more

California Supreme Court Sets New Deferential Standard for Supplemental CEQA Review

In Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District, No. S214061 (Cal. September 19, 2016), the California Supreme Court rejected the “new project” test for determining whether a changed...more

Nasi joins Texas and West Virginia attorney generals at TPPF event about Clean Power Plan

Mike Nasi, partner in our Austin office, joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey at a Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) event to discuss the Clean Power Plan rules in...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine May Privatize Welfare Program Maine’s ASPIRE program, currently run by the state’s...more

My Project Changed—Is My EIR Still Valid: A New California Supreme Court Case Provides Guidance

Change is inevitable. Many times between project approval and project construction fluctuations in market conditions, financing terms or other factors mandate project changes. Do the changes require a further or modified...more

Developer Awarded Cost of Preparing Administrative Record in CEQA Lawsuit

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) typically proceed as petitions for administrative mandamus. This means the petitioner is asking the court to review an agency’s decision and ultimately issue a...more

EPA Eliminates “But For” Causation From the Exceptional Events Rule: Tort Professors Everywhere Get Excited

On Monday, EPA promulgated amendments to its “Exceptional Events” Rule. The rule is important, particularly in the Western states, and most particularly in connection with EPA’s latest iteration of the ozone NAAQS. EPA’s...more

[Webinar] Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - September 20th, 10:00am PDT

Join Nossaman attorneys for a timely discussion of new laws that are changing the landscape of water resource management. This webinar for CLE credit* will cover critical water-related legal topics including implementation...more

A Lumber Mill Biomass CoGen Need Not Consider Other Fuels In Its BACT Analysis. Other Sources Should Be So Lucky.

Ever since EPA began considering how BACT analysis would be applied to greenhouse gas emissions, there has been concern that EPA would use its BACT authority to “redefine the source” – with the particular concern that BACT...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2016

Court of Appeal Holds EIR Inadequately Analyzed Energy Impacts - Ukiah Citizens for Safety First v. City of Ukiah et al. (248 Cal.App.4th 256) (partially published) - Why It Matters: The California Court of Appeal...more

GAO Sustains Bid Protest Where, Among Other Things, the Agency Improperly Considered Cost Risk under Its Technical Evaluation

Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a bid protest involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) evaluation of proposals for remedial action and surface support assistance at the Gilt Edge Mine...more

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