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Real World Implications of Forest Service’s New Process for Finalizing Records Of Decision

About a year ago, the Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued a final rule establishing a ?new and exclusive process for filing objections to certain proposed National Forest Service (“NFS”) ?projects and activities (78...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus - DWR must acquire properties before testing tunnel for diversion of water to Southern California - CourtHouse News - Mar 17: A California appellate court ruled last week that, before...more

Texas Environmental Update - February 14, 2014

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

Fish and Wildlife Service’s Proposal to List Lesser Prairie Chicken as “Threatened” Could Have Impact on Industries

On December 11, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a proposed rule to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LEPC) as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). The LEPC is a ground-dwelling...more

Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments (November 2013)

STATE AIR POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD - A. Proposed Regulations - 1. 9VAC5-130. Regulation for Open Burning (Rev. E12) (amending 9VAC5-130-10 through 9VAC5-130-50, 9VAC5-130-100; repealing 9VAC5-130-60)....more

Public Interest in Renewable Energy May Outweigh the Purpose of the Williamson Act; Cancellation of Williamson Act Contracts May...

After a Central Valley county cancelled Williamson Act contracts on ranchland to make way for a solar energy plant, several environmental groups sued challenging the County’s decision. The trial court found against the...more

US federal agencies to seek expanded Clean Water Act regulatory jurisdiction over aggregate mines and farmlands

The US Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) are poised to propose a new rule that would significantly expand their regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. While many...more

Hydraulic Fracking and the Battle Over Beneficial Water Use in California: The Next Phase of Fracking Litigation in California

The competition between agriculture, energy, domestic and environmental interests for water in California is fierce and is about to become more contentious. In a “wet year,” the demand for water from these interests may...more

Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Bragg: A Summary for Non-Attorneys

The Texas Supreme Court's ruling in Bragg makes clear that, at least in some circumstances, a groundwater conservation district's denial or limitation of a permit seeking to pump groundwater for irrigation can constitute a...more

Solar Project Prevails Over Williamson Act, CEQA Claims in Save Panoche Valley

A recent California appellate decision broke new ground for solar energy developers by upholding a County’s decision to cancel numerous Williamson Act contracts and approve a large solar project despite potentially...more

The New Range Wars: CEQA and the Williamson Act Are Deployed To Fight Global Warming Solutions In Save Panoche Valley

Nothing says “battle royal” quite like pitting several of California’s heavyweight environmental laws against one another in a “winner-take-all” litigation brawl....more

The Sun is Shining on Solar: Deference to Lead Agency Given in Panoche Valley Solar Project CEQA/Williamson Act Decision

In a recent California appellate decision addressing a challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Williamson Act to the Panoche Valley Solar Project, a photovoltaic solar project on approximately...more

House Defeats Farm Bill, Senate Advances Modest Energy Legislation – ML Strategies Weekly Energy and Environmental Update

Ten days after the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill 66-27, the House defeated the $940 billion H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, on June 20. Next steps on the measure are...more

Court Finds Public Interest In Meeting Renewable Energy Goals in California Outweighs Efforts To Preserve Agricultural Lands -...

In Save Panoche Valley v. San Benito County, the Sixth District Court of Appeal upheld the county’s approval of a 420-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant. The court found that the county had substantial evidence to support its...more

McAfee & Taft AgLINC - May 2013: Do you have enough water?

Unless you are located in far southeastern Oklahoma, chances are that you could always use some extra water to grow your agribusiness. Oklahoma law requires that if you use groundwater or water from an Oklahoma stream for...more

Farmland Solar Out to Pasture: BPU Approves SRECs for only 3 out of 57 New Grid-Supply Solar Farmland Projects

At its April 29, 2013 public agenda meeting in Trenton, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved only 3 out of 57 new grid-supply solar farmland projects pending approval for solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs)....more

Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2012

In This Issue: - MISS Dig Bills Pass in Michigan Senate, Stall in House - Farm Bill Still Stalled - Ag Groups Urge Action on Estate Taxes - SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Now Available in Michigan - Michigan...more

MISS Dig Bills Pass In Michigan Senate, Stall In House

Legislation creating a new MISS Dig law passed the Michigan Senate on November 29 in a 26-12 vote, but failed to make it through the House before the 2012 Legislative Session closed on December 13. Supporters plan to...more

State Water Resources Control Board Issues Draft Order Staying Provisions of Central Coast Agricultural Order

On September 10, 2012, the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) issued a Draft Order which, if adopted, will stay certain provisions of the agricultural order and related monitoring and reporting program orders...more

State Water Resources Control Board Decides To Stay Provisions Of Central Coast Agricultural Order

Following its August 30, 2012 hearing, the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) decided to stay or extend the compliance deadline for some provisions of the agricultural order and related monitoring and...more

Seventh Circuit affirms exclusion of unreliable expert testimony on valuation in condemnation actions

On August 21, 2012, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming the decision of the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois to exclude the testimony of the landowners' expert in...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines for Wildlife Protection

On March 23, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its “Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines.” The new voluntary Guidelines provide a tiered, scientific process for addressing potential wildlife impacts...more

A Brief Guide to Special Purpose Port in Indonesia

Special Purpose Port in Indonesia is specifically intended for supporting the main business of a company in the mining, industry, plantation, or fishery sector, and is restricted to be used for public purposes without consent...more

SB 618 Provides Limited Williamson Act Relief for Solar Developers

Just signed by Governor Brown, SB 618 (Wolk) creates, for the first time, an explicit mechanism for landowners and solar developers to remove non-prime agricultural land from existing Williamson Act contracts in order to use...more

Renewables Update May 2011

PLANNING SCOTLAND'S RENEWABLE FUTURE With the SNP winning a historic 69 seats, we take a look at what the re-elected Scottish Government will need to do to the planning system if their ambitious renewables targets are to be...more

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