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EPA Proposes to Add Vapor Intrusion Pathway Assessment to Superfund Listing System

Last week, we wrote about an audit that MassDEP is conducting of previously closed sites to look for high concentrations of TCE in soils and groundwater. The intent of the audit is to address potential vapor intrusion. The...more

Ohio Supreme Court: Form Oil and Gas Lease Not Void as Against Public Policy

Earlier this week, in an unsurprising but nevertheless meaningful decision, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the standard form oil and gas lease at issue was not “perpetual,” and thus was not void as against...more

Department of the Interior Announces Comprehensive Review of Federal Coal Program

On January 15, Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the Department of the Interior will launch a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program. During the review, which is...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

Energy and Environmental Forecast for 2016

When Robert Klee took over as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Energy and Environmental protection in 2014, he viewed his role as that of an implementer. As he indicated when he took over two years ago, it was his job to take...more

Fourth Circuit Joins Courts in Pennsylvania and Ohio in Holding that Dual Purpose Oil and Gas Lease Is Not Severable

As we have often reported, landowners’ efforts to evade the plain terms of “dual purpose” leases, providing for both production and natural gas storage, have almost universally failed. Most recently, on December 28, 2015, the...more

The Carbon Challenge - How emission reduction schemes may affect property lenders

Commercial property is now subject to a range of EU-wide and UK domestic law aimed at reducing carbon emissions. These laws raise important questions for those lending against property....more

BIA Finalizes Reforms for Obtaining Rights of Way on Indian Lands

On November 19, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published a final rule that makes sweeping changes to the process for obtaining rights of way for proposed oil and gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, railroads,...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Affirms Striking of 24-Year-Old Default Judgment, and Holds That Leasing Is Not Enough to Claim...

The development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has led to a number of disputes about historical judgments that purportedly divested reserved oil and gas rights from their owners. During the 20th century, surface...more

Are Recorded Oil and Gas Leases Title Transactions Under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act?

In a decision issued November 5, 2015 in the matter of Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Buell, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a recorded oil and gas lease is a title transaction under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“ODMA”),...more

Ohio Supreme Court Issues Second Key Decision Interpreting Dormant Mineral Act

On November 5, 2015, in Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al. v. Kenneth Buell, et al., 2015-Ohio-4551, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its second decision interpreting Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (the “ODMA”). The ODMA is a...more

Renewable Energy Developers ? Beware of your Land Options

Four Arrows Investments 68 v Abigail Construction (20470/2014) [2015] ZASCA 121 - In a recent judgment the Supreme Court of Appeal held that any sale of a portion of agricultural land, whether conditional or not, shall...more

Administration Announces New Mitigation Policies

This afternoon, the Administration issued two policies intended to encourage private investment in natural resource conservation and to facilitate application of the mitigation hierarchy—avoiding, minimizing and compensating...more

Current Water Utility CCN Decertification Issues At The Public Utility Commission Of Texas

The responsibility for the regulation of water and sewer service, including the oversight of certificates of public convenience and necessity (“CCNs”), was recently transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental...more

Massachusetts State Building Code Update: 9th Edition Anticipated to be Issued without Concurrency Period

The Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (the “State Board”) has announced that it expects to issue the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code in the first half of 2016, which will...more

The Louisiana Right of Passage Discussed

Spoiler alert: Don’t expect a post about a weekend of Mardi Gras debauchery. The owner of a landlocked tract can demand a right of passage over his neighbor’s property to the nearest public road. Does the law require the...more

A Busy Summer for Environmental and Land Use Law

In the past three months, we have witnessed a breathtaking series of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Connecticut Supreme Court, and the California Supreme Court that have provided important rulings and...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court: Separate Consideration for Operated and Unoperated Acres Does Not Render an Oil and Gas Lease...

The recent boom in natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin has led to a concomitant boom in litigation, as landowners who are lessors in long-standing oil and gas leases seek declarations that the leases are no longer...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Denies Bid to Return Water/Sewer "Impact Fees"

Impact fees are defined, generally, as a charge on new development to pay for the construction or expansion of off-site capital improvements that are necessitated by and/or benefit the new development. Impact fees have been...more

EPA Issues Vapor Intrusion Guidance

Vapor Intrusion (“VI”) is the migration of vapors from contamination in the ground into overlying buildings and structures. It’s no secret that regulatory agencies have increased their focus on VI over the last decade. ...more

Spot Assessment Stricken

A divided panel of The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that a reassessment of property upon the expiration of a KOZ abatement was an unlawful spot assessment. Duke Energy Fayette II, LLC v. Fayette County Board of...more

Mello-Roos May Be Used to Fund Condemnation Action of Private Utility Provider

Those of us living in newer neighborhoods are familiar with Mello-Roos – it shows up on our annual tax bills as a way to pay off bonds issued to finance various public improvements, such as schools, streets, and parks that...more

Don’t Overlook the Potential Value Added By Green Buildings

It is increasingly important for buildings to be energy efficient. So-called “green buildings” can not only lead to more efficient energy use, but can also result in significant cost savings over time. Indeed, green...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The New York Legislature Ends The Guessing - Brownfield Tax Credits Extended And Modified

On April 1, 2015, the New York Legislature passed a budget bill for fiscal year 2015-2016, which included numerous amendments (the Amendments) to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), a state program designed to incentivize...more

Groundwater Fees in Flux Following Recent Conflicting Proposition 218 Cases

With California in the midst of a record-breaking drought (as reported in a recent Allen Matkins legal alert, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order ordering mandatory actions to reduce California's water...more

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