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Administrative Agency Environmental Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.

The Drumbeat Continues: Another Court Rejects an FEIR For Not Properly Considering Climate Change

Last week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a District Court decision approving a decision by the Bureau of Land Management to approve new leases on mines that account for 20% of U.S. coal production. ...more

Wastewater Enforcement: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Garland County School Districts Enter into Consent...

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) and Jessieville School District and Fountain Lake School District (collectively, “District”) entered into an August 30th Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”)...more

Regional Haze/Nitrogen Oxide: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Proposal to Approve Arkansas State Implementation Plan Revision

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a September 11th Federal Register Notice proposing to approve a revision to the Arkansas Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (“SIP”) submitted by the...more

Off-Specification Used Oil: July 27th U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Interpretive Letter

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) addressed in a July 27th letter various requests regarding off-specification (“Off-Spec”) used oil....more

Wind Farm/Transmission Line: Federal Court Addresses Whether Facility Operations Can Continue Pending NEPA Supplemental EIS...

A United States District Court (Southern District California)(“Court”) addressed a dispute as to the appropriate remedy for a constructed wind farm and transmission line (collectively “Project”) whose United States Department...more

DC Circuit Rules that FERC Must Consider Global Warming in Approving New Natural Gas Pipelines

by Snell & Wilmer on

The United States has one of the most extensive natural gas pipeline networks in the world. This vast network enables the ongoing switch away from coal-fired generation and toward a renewables and natural gas-based electric...more

FERC Failed to Adequately Consider Environmental Impacts of Downstream GHG Emissions Under NEPA Says D.C. Circuit

by Perkins Coie on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last week vacated and remanded a 2016 Order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that had authorized construction and operation of the Southeast Market Pipelines...more

DOE Grid Report Pins Coal Decline Primarily on Economics of Natural Gas

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

On August 23, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) publicly released a long-anticipated study of the U.S. electrical grid titled “Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Grid Reliability.” The report followed...more

Cause for Concern Over Organic Fertilizer Made from Food Waste?

by Downey Brand LLP on

In December 2016, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued guidance 5034-1 that can be interpreted as approving of food waste for use in organic crop production (for example, as an input in fertilizer) without regard to...more

Canadian Government's Proposal to Reform Canada's Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Regime

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On June 29, 2017, the federal government released a discussion paper entitled "Environmental and Regulatory Reviews" ("Discussion Paper"), which proposes broad changes to the federal environmental assessment and regulatory...more

Article: June 2017: Energy Litigation Update

New Administration Leads to Pause of Major Energy-Related Litigation. In March, President Trump signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to “suspend, rescind, or revise” several...more

California WaterFix: A Snapshot of the SWRCB Water Rights Change Hearings

by Downey Brand LLP on

After five parched years, substantial winter rains and Sierra snowpack have brought California a long-sought reprieve from drought, though not without presenting a new set of challenges. In February, nearly 200,000 residents...more

Appeals Court Decision Requires Air Emissions Reporting for Animal Waste

by Jackson Walker on

On April 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit vacated a 2008 EPA rule, which had exempted certain agricultural operations from federal air emission reporting requirements...more

Federal Court Halts Lawsuit Consideration over Obama’s Clean Water Rule; Pruitt Recruits Governors to Shape New EPA Water...

One of President Trump’s early campaign promises was to dismantle the 2015 Clean Water Rule, the Obama administration’s regulation asserting federal power over navigable bodies of water and aiming to replace polluting...more

Up One Day, Down the Next—California Air Resources Board Receives Mixed Reviews in its Implementation of its Cap-and-Trade Program...

by Downey Brand LLP on

In recent weeks, California appellate courts issued two decisions regarding California Air Resources Board (CARB) programs implemented under AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, with mixed results. The first decision...more

A Closer Look at President Trump's Executive Order on Energy Independence

by Holland & Knight LLP on

President Donald Trump's Executive Order (EO) entitled "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth" is a broad directive accomplishing a number of the Trump Administration's energy-related priorities....more

Administration's Executive Order on Climate and Energy Is Controversial, and May Shift Action to States

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an “Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” (E.O.) that takes aim at a broad range of federal climate and energy programs and regulations. The E.O....more

Two Bureau of Land Management Regulations on Life Support Under President Trump

by Jones Day on

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to pull the plug on two rules issued by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") in 2015 and 2016. Legal and legislative developments over the next...more

Executive Orders Expected this Week Regarding Clean Air and Water Act Rules

by Nossaman LLP on

In addition to a January 20th Presidential Memorandum freezing all, not yet enacted, rules and sending them back to the agencies and Office of Management and Budget for reconsideration, and the utilization of the...more

Drought Emergency Regulations Extended Again

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Despite objections from many water suppliers that drought conditions have ended, the State Water Resources Control Board this week voted unanimously to extend emergency water conservation regulations throughout California....more

White House Issues Interim Guidance Memo on Implementation of "Two-for-One" Executive Order On Regulations, Invites Public Comment

by Bracewell LLP on

On February 2, 2017, the Acting Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) issued a guidance document (the “Interim Guidance”) intended to help clarify President Trump’s January 30, 2017...more

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda for January 19, 2017

by White & Case LLP on

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s January 19, 2017 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on January 12, 2017. Agenda items E-3, E-4, E-5, E-6, C-1, and C-2 have...more

EPA Issues Final Determination That No Adjustments to GHG Standards for Model Years 2022-2025 Will Be Made, but Questions Remain

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

On January 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its determination not to change greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for cars and light trucks manufactured in model years (MYs) 2022-2025. This...more

Utility-Scale Battery Storage Systems: Legal Issues and Opportunities

Federal and state government mandates and incentives, combined with technological advances, have dramatically increased renewable energy sources during the past decade. Variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind...more

December 2016: Energy Litigation Update

Update on Clean Power Plan. In August 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) finalized a new set of standards, now known as the Clean Power Plan (the “Plan”), aimed at reducing carbon emissions from fossil-fuel...more

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