Construction Energy & Utilities

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Justice Department Recovers Nearly $6 Billion From False Claims Act Cases in 2014

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained a record $5.69 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in fiscal year 2014. This marks the first time the DOJ...more

Federal Agencies Announce Steps to Expedite Reviews of Infrastructure Projects

On September 22, the Administration announced two new policies that will facilitate a more transparent and efficient permitting and review process for complex infrastructure projects. First, federal agencies announced...more

Court Limits Migratory Bird Treaty Act Applicability to Incidental Take

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in United States v. CITGO that a “taking” subject to prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not include the...more

Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing Vacated by Federal Court - What It Means for Energy Development

Last week, in a decision that surprised many, a federal court in Texas overturned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision last year to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as “threatened” under the federal...more

Construction and Engineering Toolkit: Insuring Existing Buildings in Which and Next to Which Construction Work is to Take Place

This construction guide covers: -JCT contracts in real estate development -Minimum energy standards for letting buildings -Construction work adjacent to existing structures -Insuring the existing...more

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

Energy Newsletter - August 2015

Falling Oil Prices Are Not the Only Deterrent to Investment in Mexico's Oil Fields - On July 15, Mexico auctioned 14 shallow-water exploration blocks. The auction marked the first time in nearly eight decades that...more

Mexico’s Energy Industry: Updated Bidding Guidelines and Contract Terms for Ronda Uno, Second Tender

On August 4, 2015, the Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (the CNH) released revised versions of the Bidding Guidelines (the Guidelines) and the Model Production Sharing Contract (the PSC) for the Second Tender published on...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

Why project bonds are on the rise in Latin America

Latin American project bonds continue to grow as a source of infrastructure financing, particularly as private capital is needed to close multi-billion-dollar shortfalls in spending for needed infrastructure projects in Latin...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

Asia-Pacific Energy Sector Update: Financing Renewable Energy Projects

In all jurisdictions, financing for greenfields projects is available from traditional sources - commercial banks, export credit agencies (ECAs, such as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Korea's...more

Nevada’s 78th Legislative Session Closes with Important Reforms for Business

On June 1, 2015, Nevada’s 78th Legislative Session came to a final close with critical reforms for Nevada’s businesses. Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Nevada Government Affairs team, Josh Hicks, Alisa Nave-Worth, Kandis...more

White House Takes Aim at Solar for Low- and Middle-Income Americans

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday a plan to grant greater access to solar energy production for all Americans, in particular low- and middle- income communities. The White House announced that the Department...more

State Water Board Extends Storm Water Permit Deadline to Aug. 14

On Wednesday, July 1, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced it would extend the deadline for enrolling under the new Industrial General Permit (IGP) for Storm Water Discharges (Permit No....more

SHE Matters - Summer 2015

In This Issue: - Changes to Comah Regulations - Make Sure You Are Prepared - Strengthening of Enforcement Powers Under the Environmental Permitting Regine and Tackling Waste Crime - Will You Be Affected? - The...more

Public-Private Partnerships Offer Alternative Model for Water Infrastructure Projects

In February 2012, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts completed a study of the state’s drinking, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs that identified a funding gap of at least $39 billion over the next 20 years. The...more

IRS Confirms that Flip Partnership Guidelines Do Not Apply to Solar Projects

The IRS has advised that the flip partnership guidelines under Rev. Proc. 2007-65, 2007-2 C.B. 967, do not apply to solar facilities or other projects claiming the Section 48 investment tax credit (ITC). The statement, made...more

Update on Petrobas Scandal – Recent Arrests of Construction Company Executives

The sprawling Petrobas corruption scandal continues to grow and stretch across Brazil’s political and economic landscape. Prosecutors handling the case continue to reach new targets and arrest more individuals who profited...more

DTE Energy Issues 5-50 MW RFP

DTE Energy (DTE) announced recently that it has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the construction of a 5-50 MW solar generating facility. While DTE is seeking proposals for projects in the city of Detroit as well...more

Renewable Energy Update - June 2015 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Obama commits $4 billion to form clean energy investment clearinghouse: The Guardian - Jun 16: With $4 billion and a new government office, the White House has unveiled its latest clean energy...more

Green Certification: obtaining green certification for existing buildings in VA

On June 19, 2014, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released its preliminary results for the 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). According to the CBECS, the United States currently has 87...more

Energy Efficient Buildings: It’s the Law (and a Good Idea Too)

Energy efficiency and sustainable building development and management are no longer viewed as a novel but impractical concept, or something only environmentalists long for. Improving existing buildings and constructing new...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The Senate last week approved an amendment to the South Carolina Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and gave the bill second reading. The Senate also returned the proposed body camera legislation to the House with...more

As Drones Hit the Sky, Lawsuits Predicted to Fly

The rise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“UAV”), also known as drones, is well-documented. In fact, the global market for non-military drones has recently been estimated as a $2.5 billion industry that is growing at...more

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