Civil Procedure Zoning, Planning & Land Use Energy & Utilities

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EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...more

Third District Construes CEQA Guidelines’ Class 23 Categorical Exemption And “Unusual Circumstances” Exception In Rejecting...

In an exceptionally thorough and well-reasoned opinion, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging respondent 14th District Agricultural Association’s (District)...more

Obama Administration Releases Proposed Rule on "Waters of the United States"

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule that will impact many segments of the U.S. economy, greatly expanding future permitting requirements. The proposed rule...more

Take That! Second District Court of Appeal Clears Major Hurdles for Newhall Ranch Project, Provides Guidance on California’s...

California’s Second District Court of Appeal, Division Five, issued a decision on March 20 in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife (Case No. BS131347), overturning the trial court’s decision...more

California’s LCFS Surviving Challenges As Major Changes Loom

The Air Resources Board proposes to merge court-mandated re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard with other significant program changes. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to generate uncertainty due to...more

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

Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project Upheld in District Court on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims

On March 25, 2014, in The Protect Our Communities Foundation et al. v. Jewell et al. , the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued a decision on a challenge to the Tule Wind Project and found in favor...more

Coal Companies, Don’t Look Behind; EPA May Be Gaining on You

As the lawyers among our readers know, the denial of a certiorari petition does not establish precedent. However, that doesn’t make it unimportant. Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied cert. in Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. EPA. ...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds 2008 Biological Opinion Restricting Operations Of California Water Projects

On March 13, the Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the latest round of the delta smelt litigation, upholding the 2008 Biological Opinion prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the combined operations...more

Court of Appeal Confirms AB 32 Target Is Proper CEQA Significance Threshold

The strongly worded opinion in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Case Number B245131)(CBD v. CDFW) by the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District has confirmed...more

Breathing New Life Into Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment

On Dec. 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania addressing the injunction entered by the Commonwealth Court enjoining the enforcement of a...more

Court Rejects Rule 106 Challenge to Sterling Ranch Rezoning Approval

Important Ruling for Colorado’s Development Community - On February 19, a Colorado state court judge rejected a lawsuit challenging a Douglas County rezoning decision that will now allow for the continued permitting...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses NEPA Approval of an Oil and Gas Lease in the Chukchi Sea

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the Department of Interior sought to lease approximately 30 million acres of federal land in the Chukchi Sea for oil and gas development, but, according to a recent decision by...more

Oral Argument Recap: Ohio Supreme Court Considers Home Rule in Challenge to Zoning Ordinances Restricting Drilling

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held oral argument to determine the scope of Ohio’s constitutional guarantee of municipal “home rule.” The case—brought by the city of Munroe Falls, Ohio against Beck Energy Corp. for...more

Divisional Court Overturns Environmental Review Tribunal Decision and Allows Wind Project to Proceed

In an important decision for stakeholders in the Ontario renewable energy industry, the Divisional Court of Ontario overturned the July 2013 decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal (the ERT) in Ostrander Point. In its...more

Nebraska Court Stalls Keystone XL Pipeline, Declares Governor’s Approval Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, a Nebraska trial court struck down a state law allowing Governor Dave Heineman’s to approve the proposed route for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL Pipeline. The decision comes just weeks after the State...more

Keystone XL Pipeline Project Halted in Nebraska

On Wednesday, a Nebraska District Court dealt the Keystone XL pipeline project a heavy blow. The court invalidated a law that allowed the state's governor to approve the pipeline's passage through Nebraska. The court ruled...more

Reaping What You Sow – City Of Dallas Sued By Trinity East Energy

Suppose I own a large tract of land in the region of the Barnett Shale, the exclusive right to allow (or prevent) drilling on the aforesaid land, and a desparate need for funds. You have $19 million and the desire to exploit...more

For Success Against A Pipeline, Go To The Right Court

The first step in successfully challenging the Keystone Pipeline: Choose a court that has jurisdiction. Mr. Bishop learned that lesson the hard way in Bishop v. TransCanada Keystone Pipeline....more

Ralls Continues to Fight Presidential Divestiture Order Stemming from CFIUS Investigation

Ralls Corp., a privately-held company owned by executives of the China-based heavy machinery manufacturing conglomerate Sany Group, recently filed an appeal in its ongoing effort to avoid President Obama’s order requiring the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Briefing of Greenhouse Gas Cases Underway Oral Argument Scheduled for February 24, 2014

Briefing before the U.S. Supreme Court is currently underway in a matter involving challenges to the suite of greenhouse gas (GHG) cases decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in December...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - January 17, 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: Judge recommends approval of California natural gas plant -- UT San Diego - Jan 7 - An administrative law judge has urged the California Public Utilities Commission to authorize...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Pro-Industry Law

In Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the energy industry. By a 4-2 decision the Court struck down a 2012 law (commonly known as “Act 13”) aimed at...more

Australia: Federal Court confirms National Native Title Tribunal's approach to future act determinations

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article may refer to the names of people who are deceased. Summary - In Watson on behalf of Nyikina & Mangala v Backreef Oil Pty Ltd...more

Draft Regulations Would Dramatically Expand Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have presented a draft of joint regulations under the Clean Water Act to the Office of Management and Budget for an internal governmental review. While the...more

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