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Wisconsin Supreme Court: Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Well Contamination Resulting from the Application of Manure and...

In Wilson Mutual Ins. Co. v. Robert Falk and Jane Falk, 2013AP691 & 2013AP776, and Preisler v. Kuettel’s Septic Serv., 2012AP2521, the Wisconsin Supreme Court sought to resolve conflicting court of appeals’ decisions on...more

Local Agencies that Can Recover Fees Through Prop 218 Process are Ineligible for State Reimbursements

Decision from the Commission on State Mandates - Several agricultural water suppliers seeking reimbursement for state-mandated activities under the Water Conservation Act of 2009 are ineligible to receive state...more

USDA Revises Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees

On December 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the final rule for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP is intended to help mainly businesses, as well as some state, local, and tribal...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Cow Manure Claims

In its recent decision in Wilson Mut. Ins. Co. v. Falk, 2014 WI 136, the Wisconsin Supreme Court had occasion had occasion to consider whether cow manure generated at a dairy farm, and which migrates from the insured’s...more

Conservation Easements Are Not Required As Mitigation For Permanent Loss Of Farmland

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, the California Fifth District Court of Appeal upheld the County of Fresno’s adoption of an Environmental Impact Report for a mining operation that will result in a permanent...more

Fresno County Aggregate Mine Fends Off Court Challenge

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, No. F068818 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., Dec. 8, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld Fresno County’s (County) approval of the Carmelita Mine and Reclamation Project...more

Brownstein’s Annual Water Rights Compliance Checklist for 2015

This checklist provides a summary of state water right reporting requirements and applicable deadlines for users of surface or groundwater in California. If you have questions about the information contained in this...more

Fifth District Rejects CEQA Challenge to Fresno County Aggregate Mine Project EIR In Partially Published Decision, Clarifies State...

In a lengthy, 65-page opinion filed December 8, 2014 (of which fully two-thirds was unpublished), the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Fresno County Superior Court’s judgment upholding the EIR, Conditional Use...more

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million In Grants To Producers And Researchers

On December 2, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $9 million in grants to support advanced biofuel production and the bioeconomy. More than $5 million in grants awarded to 220 producers nationwide are...more

The Great East/West Divide

I was honored to address the recent annual meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) in Reno, Nevada. Coming out west serves as a reminder of the chasm that exists between those Americans who earn...more

USDA Announces Release of Report Charting Path to Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

On November 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has released a report that details the pathway to commercializing affordable, renewable, and biodegradable...more

New Law Changes Special District Noticing Requirements for Terminating Service on Delinquent Accounts

Passage of AB 2747 by California Legislature Modifies Law - The noticing requirements special districts must follow to terminate delinquent residential light, heat, water or power service accounts were substantially...more

Australia and China Free Trade Agreement

This week, following the successful hosting of the G20 summit, the Australian Federal Government signed a declaration of intention with China to bring into force a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). The agreement...more

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Announces Small Business Awards

On November 12, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy held a press conference to announce the recipients of the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. In her comments, Administrator McCarthy stated that "a...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 11/14

EPA Proposes To Remove 72 Chemicals From Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredients List: On October 22, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its...more

Appalachian Biofuels LLC To Locate Headquarters In Virginia

On October 29, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) announced that Appalachian Biofuels LLC will invest about $3.5 million to establish its headquarters and an enzymatic biodiesel production facility in St. Paul,...more

USDA Proposes Amended Guidelines For Biobased Products For Federal Procurement

On October 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed to amend the regulations for the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products under USDA's BioPreferred Program. As explained in the Federal Register...more

BRAG Petitions EPA for Biodiesel Products Exemptions Already Granted to Petroleum Products

On October 21, 2014, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) submitted two petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting that biodiesel fuel manufacturers be granted the same...more

DOE Announces Funding For Landscape Design For Sustainable Bioenergy Systems

The Bioenergy Technologies Office within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), "Landscape Design for Sustainable Bioenergy Systems."...more

Energy & Environment Update - October 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Environmental Protection...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 10/20/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - With just over two weeks until election day, Congress is preparing for a brief but intense Lame Duck session, while continuing final campaign pushes. With several races still in the...more

EPA Draft Ruling Could Mean Significant Changes to How Stormwater Systems are Categorized

The last thing that public agency leaders want to hear is that looming changes may make operating and building new public infrastructure more challenging and expensive. Unfortunately, proposed changes by the Environmental...more

Groundwater Basin Boundaries and Priorities Will Impose New Management Challenges on Local Agencies

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires that the Department of Water Resources categorize each of California’s 515 alluvial groundwater basins and subbasins as high, medium, low, or...more

Texas Supreme Court Declines to Address Recovery for Stigma Damages in the Absence of a Permanent Physical Injury to Property

In a closely watched case, the Texas Supreme Court recently declined to address the issue of a right to recover damages for “stigma” in the absence of a permanent physical injury to property. (Houston Unlimited, Inc. v. Mel...more

USDA awards $68 million for energy projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $68 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The latest round of awards under the agency's Rural Development arm's Rural...more

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