Administrative Agency Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Recent Surface Transportation Board Preemption Decisions of Note

In the last several months, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has issued a number of decisions further defining the scope of federal preemption. As the primary agency tasked with the economic regulation of the...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

DPR Proposal for Right-to-Know Notifications Prior to Soil Fumigant Applications Could Have Far-Reaching Implications

On April 9, 2015, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) held the first of a planned series of workshops intended to help DPR develop “regulation concepts” for possible notifications prior to field...more

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

Newly Installed FERC Chairman Norman Bay’s Past Opinions Signal Preference for Energetic Use of Commission Authority

On April 15, 2015, Norman Bay assumed the chairmanship of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). Prior to taking the chairman’s role, Chairman Bay was appointed to the Commission in July 2014 after five years of...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

EPA Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy Updated for First Time Since 1998

For the first time in 17 years, U.S. EPA has updated its policy governing projects that can be performed as part of settlements with EPA. EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (“OECA”) recently issued this...more

Finality! Common Sense Prevails Over Wetlands Jurisdictional Determinations

“All good things come to those who wait,” certainly is not an expression that applies to property owners who receive wetlands jurisdictional determinations (JD) from the Army Corps of Engineers with which they disagree. ...more

Is Your Business a “Nuisance”? If so, It Could Cost You Dearly

Many landlords and businesses are already aware that they may be sued in a civil court for criminal acts committed by others on their property. While this is a reactive process that occurs in response to a specific incident,...more

Eighth Circuit Creates Circuit Split By Holding Jurisdictional Determinations Under The Clean Water Act Constitute "Final Agency...

On April 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that the issuance of a jurisdictional determination (JD) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA)...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term. This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law. Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted...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

Army Corps Jurisdictional Determinations Subject to Pre-Permit Judicial Review, Eighth Circuit Says

EPA and Army Corps of Engineers imposition of federal Clean Water Act requirements can now be challenged in court without waiting for the agencies to bring an enforcement action, at least in the Eighth Circuit. On April 10,...more

Federal Court Strikes Down HCP: No Piggybacks Under Section 10

While decisions dealing with lawsuits alleging violations of section 7 or section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are rather common, it is far less common for courts to address suits under section 10. In fact, in any...more

Storm Water Update

We recently informed our clients that there has been an apparent uptick in recent months of citizens suits against storm water permittees for alleged storm water violations under the Clean Water Act. According to a recent...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

HUD publishes update to Section 3 regulation in the Federal Register

As an update to our blog of last week, HUD published a new notice that updates the interim regulation at 24 CFR Part 135, which provides for compliance with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 (Section...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

NEPA Review — Still the Land of Deference

Last week, District Judge Ralph Beistline allowed the summary judgment motion filed by the United States Forest Service, and dismissed citizen claims challenging the Forest Service decision to approve an logging project in an...more

San Francisco’s Airbnb Regulation Runs Into Enforcement Issues

A little over a month after San Francisco’s comprehensive home-sharing law went into effect, the City is already encountering a problem that threatens the effectiveness of the measure. The law, which allows residents to rent...more

Certificated Natural Gas Storage Capacity Is Based on Science Not Sales, FERC Rules

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the Commission) issued an order on Thursday, March 19, 2015, refusing to allow the abandonment of certificated working gas capacity when the reason for the request was unrelated to...more

California’s Class II Underground Injection Wells Subject to Increased Scrutiny

EPA sets new requirements and compliance deadlines for a stricter regulatory oversight program. On March 9, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a letter to the California State Water Resources Control...more

BLM Issues Final Rule Governing Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

On March 20, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the release of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule, titled, “Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands,” which BLM announced will...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Finding of Jurisdiction Over 4.8 Acres of Wetlands in Chesapeake, Virginia

On March 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the U.S. Corps of Engineers (Corps) had lawfully denied a permit to an applicant seeking to fill 4.8 acres of wetlands in order to build...more

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