Construction Energy & Utilities Environmental

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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

"Renewable Energy Project Warehouse Facilities Are on the Rise"

An important development in the financing of solar, wind and other renewable energy projects in 2015 was the use of a flexible investment and financing vehicle referred to as a “warehouse.” Akin to traditional warehouse...more

Win for Wind on Taxes: Federal Income Tax Wind Farm Production Credit Extended for 2015 through 2019 - "Phase-Out" Limits Credit...

Wind farm electric generation facilities in Oklahoma have received a favorable federal income tax credit extension. The federal income tax credit for production of electricity by a qualified facility from wind...more

Energy Newsletter - December 2015

Guaranteed Sunshine: Performance and Testing of Solar Power Projects - This article is the third of three articles on solar power projects and discusses testing and performance guarantees in the context of engineering,...more

Public Projects in Turmoil: The Saga Of The Bay Bridge, Delta Tunnels, and High Speed Rail Would Make A Compelling Reality TV Show

It took nearly twenty-five years for the Bay Bridge to become a reality and before the paint was even dry on the self-anchored suspension span questions had already been raised about the design and seismic safety of the...more

"Congress Extends Renewable Energy Tax Credits"

On December 18, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Act), which extends and modifies the investment tax credit for solar energy property, the production tax credit for wind...more

New Law Streamlines Federal Permitting and Environmental Review Processes

Major infrastructure developers received a notable holiday gift from Capitol Hill and the White House earlier this month with the December 4, 2015 enactment of the Highway Authorization Act. Title XLI of the Act promises to...more

Sustainability in Retail: Going Strong and Expected to Continue

The COP21 meeting has been underway for the last week, with just a few more days left to go. The meeting, an annual session which started following the 1992 United Nations Framework on Climate Change, brings together...more

California Supreme Court Charts New Course For Climate Change Analysis

Court endorses significance threshold based on consistency with statewide GHG reduction goals, but nonetheless invalidates State EIR utilizing that threshold. On Monday November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court...more

California Governor Signs Legislation Establishing Significant New Energy Goals

Law Sets Standards Aimed at Addressing Climate Change - Today, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 350 into law, setting two ambitious climate change-related goals: a 50 percent increase in building energy efficiency, and a...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

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

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

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

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

PHMSA Steps Up Review of Pipeline Construction

Enforcement Focus on 60-Day Notification Requirement - The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has stepped up enforcement efforts concerning pipeline and LNG terminal construction....more

Bill to Streamline Federal Permitting for Major Energy and Infrastructure Projects Advances in the US Senate

On May 6, 2015, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 12-1 in favor of a bill designed to streamline the Federal permitting process for major energy and infrastructure projects. The bill,...more

Tax Day Update: 2015 Inflation Adjustments and Prices for Energy Credits Released by IRS

Just in time for tax day – but 14 days behind the Congressional deadline – the IRS released the statutorily required calculations to determine the value of the Section 45 Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) credit amount in 2015,...more

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