Civil Procedure Environmental Energy & Utilities

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Thirty States and Numerous Other Interested Parties Seek an Immediate Supreme Court Stay of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”

On January 26, 2016, 29 states and state agencies, including Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Mississippi (the “29 States”), submitted an application (the “29 States Application”) to the United States...more

Court in BP Oil Spill Litigation Denies Standing for Special Purpose Entities Created Solely for Litigation

A January 4, 2016 opinion in the Southern District of Texas by Judge Keith Ellison (“Op.”) in the In re: BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation, MDL No. 4:10-md-2185, has taken up the issue of whether plaintiffs can properly assign...more

Restoring old mill hydro sites and FERC licensure

Suppose you own an existing water powered mill complex whose hydromechanical facilities have not been operational for decades. You would like to develop a hydropower project at the site, using the existing dam, headrace, and...more

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to...more

Prognosticating the Ozone Standard Litigation: EPA to Win, Environmental Petitioners to Place, Murray Energy to Show

Last week, the “Public Health and Environmental Petitioners” challenging EPA’s decision not to reduce the ozone standard below 0.070 ppm filed their “Non-Binding Statement of Issues.” My crystal ball still tells me that the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - States ask Supreme Court to block Obama carbon emissions plan - Reuters - Jan 26 - A group of states led by West Virginia and Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay...more

Kamala Harris Puts Exxon Under Her Microscope: California AG Reportedly Has Launched Review of Oil Giant’s Statements On Climate...

Students of history know that fighting a two front war is a hazard to be avoided. According to the L.A. Times, however, that is precisely the dilemma that now faces Exxon Mobil: dual investigations from attorneys general on...more

Renewable Energy Update - January 2016 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - The Verdict Is In: CPUC Preserves Net Metering In California - Solar Industry - Jan 28 In a 3-2 vote this morning, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its long-awaited...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: A Legislative Outlook

Over the next eight weeks, we will provide a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector in a series of alerts. In this series, attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from...more

The Ongoing Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. ...more

Washington State Court of Appeals Holds Vested Permit Applications Are Not Subject to New Municipal Stormwater Requirements

The development community won a victory in Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals in a ruling that excludes pending permit applications from the new low-impact development stormwater regulations that large...more

Good Law Catches Up With Good Policy: The Supreme Court Upholds FERC’s Demand Response Order

The Supreme Court today affirmed FERC’s Order No. 745, which required that demand response resources be treated the same as generation resources when participating in wholesale electricity markets. I’m feeling vindicated,...more

New California Laws: AB 1390 and SB 226: More Groundwater

Last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two bills designed to make groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. Companion bills Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226 are intended to streamline...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal Gas Co. expects to cap Porter Ranch gas leak ahead of schedule - CBS Los Angeles - Jan 19 An ongoing natural gas leak that has affected residents in the Porter Ranch-area...more

Clean Power Plan Litigation Update–Court Denies Stay, but Sets Expedited Schedule for Decision

On January 21, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied numerous requests to delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. While declining to put a...more

New Mexico Files RCRA Notice of Intent to Sue EPA

On January 14th, the State of New Mexico provided the legally required notice under the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to sue the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (January 2016)

With most state legislative sessions in recess and federal legislative action unlikely until after the November 2016 election, it was no surprise that there were only a handful of new developments in the fracking world during...more

Unlike Keith Richards, I Have Not Fallen Out Of A Tree

Last month, I went out on a limb and predicted that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals would not stay the CPP. Today, the Court vindicated my faith in judicial rationality and refused to grant a stay. In a brief order, the...more

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway...more

US Suspends Coal Leasing on Federal Lands

Legal challenges to moratorium likely as US Department of Interior considers reforms. On Friday, January 15, 2016, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the US will “pause” federal coal...more

Take Two! Frogs, Water, and the Endangered Species Act in Oregon

In late December we reported on a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”) that alleges the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (“BOR”) is violating the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) through its operation and...more

Virginia Federal Court Holds Groundwater Contamination Triggers Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) operates a coal-fired power plant in Chesapeake, Virginia. It maintains permits for its operations, including a Virginia solid waste management permit and a Virginia Pollutant Discharge...more

Does the Public Trust Doctrine Apply to Groundwater? The California Appellate Courts Will Soon Decide

The California appellate courts will soon be called on to decide an important and novel issue of California water law: whether the public trust doctrine applies to groundwater. The public trust doctrine holds that the state...more

The Safest Supreme Court Bet in Years

Each December 31, my good friends from the neighborhood and I gather to ring in the New Year. To help this not-so-hard-partying group actually stay up late enough to see the Times Square ball drop, about 15 years ago we...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - California Supreme Court rejects mandatory "reverse CEQA" analysis Allen Matkins - Dec 18 - The California Supreme Court issued its long awaited opinion yesterday in California...more

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