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Thoughts on the death of DECC

Over the course of 13 and 14 July 2016, UK’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May, appointed the Secretaries of State who will lead the various Departments of Government. By the end of the process, which was precipitated by the...more

No Longer Business-As-Usual for the CPUC?

Proposed legislation promises to change the meaning of business-as-usual for the California Public Utilities Commission. After rejecting CPUC reform in October, Gov. Jerry Brown aligned with Assemblymember Mike Gatto...more

Better Late Than Never: Massachusetts Moves to Obtain NPDES Delegation

Like most federal environmental programs, NPDES program authority is largely delegated to the states. Only four states aren’t delegated: Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. How is it that progressive...more

Andrew Lipman on Tracking Net Neutrality

Andrew Lipman, head of the telecommunications, media and technology group at Morgan Lewis, talks about the group's role in the regulatory and legal processes shaping the debate surrounding net neutrality....more

Senate Bill in Georgia Seeks to Expand Scope of Trade Secret Protection

On February 2, 2016, Georgia State Senator Hunter Hill introduced Senate Bill 321 in the Georgia Senate. The bill is entitled “Commerce and Trade; state government; protections against public disclosure of certain information.” The bill has 36 co-sponsors, all of whom, like Hill, are Republican.more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - 15 states sue to block enforcement of Obama administration climate change rules: Bloomberg - Aug 13: Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia – but not including California - asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Thursday to prevent enforcement of recently-announced Obama administration rules intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants while those rules undergo judicial review. The rules, known informally as the “Clean Power Plan,” aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants by 32 percent by 2030 from 2005 emission levels. Compliance would require a shift away from coal and towards renewable resources such as solar and wind power. Although the rule’s first deadline for emissions reductions does not arrive until 2022, state officials say they need to start planning now to meet that initial target. The states want to avoid this investment until the courts rule on a lawsuit they are planning to file that challenges the legality of the rules. That challenge cannot be filed until EPA publishes the rules in the Federal Register. EPA has announced no date for publication. more

Clean Power Plan Finalized by Obama Administration and EPA — What's Next?

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new set of final regulations aimed at reducing carbon output from power plants. The sweeping new Clean Power Plan (CPP) sets limits on carbon output from coal and natural gas-fired power plants while mandating new targets for renewables as a portion of the energy mix.more

Supreme Court Update: Michigan V. EPA (14-47) And Arizona State Legislature V. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm'n (13-1314)

The last day of school is always anticlimactic, with finals done and yearbooks already signed. That may have described the atmosphere on First Street yesterday, but make no mistake: The Court ended October Term 2014 term with three decisions that would likely have been the highlights of a sleepier term. In this Update, we'll provide summaries of two of these decisions...more

News from Second and State

On Monday, the House Children and Youth Committee sent H.B. 1276 (Watson, R-Bucks) to the House floor for a vote. The bill would remedy some of the issues arising as county and state agencies implement last year’s amendments to the Child Protective Services Law. The bill was amended on the House floor and is now on second consideration; expect debate to continue on this bill and possible amendments next week. more

Utah Legislative Update: 2015 Water Law Legislation

This year the Utah Legislature took action on two water law issues that it has struggled with for several years—the authority of the State Engineer to consider forfeiture during review of change applications and the rights of nonowners to file change applications. These are familiar issues in Utah water law, but they arose this year because of two 2011 Utah Supreme Court decisions.more

Tough Mandatory Water Restrictions of up to 36 Percent Retained in Draft Emergency Drought Regulation for California

State Water Resources Control Board Cites Need to Avoid Potential “Catastrophic Impacts” - The State Water Resources Control Board released revisions to its draft emergency regulations to restrict overall potable urban water usage across the state by 25 percent. The revisions, released late Tuesday, include language clarifications and changes to certain provisions. By and large, however, the new proposed regulations retain the form and substance of the strict and far-reaching mandatory conservation requirements that the Board has advocated for for the past three weeks.more

Upcoming Mandatory Water Regulations Draw Widespread Concern

The State Water Resources Control Board’s proposed regulatory framework for mandatory statewide water cutbacks drew 277 comment letters during the brief window of time allowed for input. The Water Board released its “Mandatory Conservation Proposed Regulatory Framework” on April 7, and gave cities, water agencies and other interested parties a week to comment.more

California Governor Orders 25% Cut in Water Use—What It Means for Businesses

California is experiencing a drought of epic proportions. To meet this challenge, on April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 to usher in an aggressive statewide plan for reducing water use. The key feature of the Order is the directive to the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to impose restrictions on potable urban water use that will achieve a “statewide 25% reduction” through February 28, 2016. The State Water Board has already indicated that it will be issuing draft regulations to implement this order this month with adoption slated for May. The details of the Order establish a comprehensive approach to water conservation, and many of the provisions in the Order will have important implications for California businesses and the population generally. Beyond the mandated reduction, the Order calls for enhanced drought planning, heightened enforcement, and new public funding for water technologies. The following is a summary of the key provisions... Please see full alert below for more information. more

What the Drought Emergency Declaration Means for Your Business

By Executive Order B-29-15, signed on April 1, 2015, Governor Brown declared a state of drought emergency “to exist throughout the State of California ….” Among other things, the recitals state: WHEREAS a distinct possibility exists that the current drought will stretch into a fifth straight year in 2016 and beyond; … So the time has come to take the current climate conditions as a possible portent of worse to come. more

California Water Suppliers Facing Historic Mandatory Restrictions on Water Usage

Governor’s Goal: 25 Percent Statewide Water Savings - For the first time in California’s history, urban water suppliers will soon be required to comply with new mandatory restrictions aimed at achieving a statewide 25 percent reduction in potable urban water use. more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Energy and Commerce Hearing Examines ICD-10 Preparedness... HHS Announces Oncology Care Model Initiative... Pennsylvania Governor Abandons Alternative Medicaid Expansion Approach for Traditional Plan.more

2015 Texas Legislative Session Includes Twin Bills Concerning Municipal Fracking Bans

With the opening of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature on January 13, 2015, two of the more closely watched bills in the energy arena will be House Bill 539 (HB539) and House Bill 540 (HB540). HB539, filed on December 17, 2014, by Representative Phil King (R) of Weatherford, relates to “the procedural requirements for the adoption of a municipal regulation, limitation, or prohibition on the production, storage, or transportation of oil or natural gas.”more

EPA Proposes Stricter Ozone NAAQS

On November 25, 2014, EPA proposed to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. The rule is available online and should be published soon in the Federal Register.more

Wotus: Scotus, Potus . . . Lotus?

It was inevitable I suppose. In a town where every policy discussion reaffirms the lampooning it receives in HBO’s “Veep,” it was only a matter of time until the EPA/Army Corps’ proposed rule on the scope of jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act earned an insider Washington acronym. After all, “WOTUS” is much cooler than saying “waters of the United States.” Plus it’s a real time-saver – imperative when referring to a rule eight years in the making. more

A Brave New World of Water Regulation

A brave new world of water regulation - Since the state of California was born, the right to extract and use groundwater has been virtually unregulated — the law has provided few tools to limit or manage how agricultural, industrial and residential users compete for this valuable and increasingly scarce resource. But all that is about to change. Originally published in the San Francisco Daily Journal - September 29, 2014.more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: August 2014 #2

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - With Congress preparing to return to Washington, efforts are underway to fill the two-week session with negotiations on a continuing resolution and votes on several pre-election issue favorites.more

Updates: Federal Government's Efforts to Review and Devise Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations

(1) GAO Report: EPA Can Do More To Protect Groundwater from Pollutants Associated with Fracking - On Monday, July 28, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report stating that EPA can do more to protect groundwater sources from pollutants associated with hydraulic fracturing. The report also provided specific recommendations that might help the agency with this effort. more

Regulatory Threat to Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities

A federal inter-agency Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group has called for the elimination of an exemption currently enjoyed by water and wastewater treatment facilities from the Chemical Facility and Anti-Terrorism Standards. more

Water Issues Reframe State Fracking Debate

The debate over fracking continues nationwide, but in California there is an increasing focus on one major issue: water supply. With the state facing one of the most severe droughts on record and water regulators tightening the reins on water use, opponents are trying to garner support for a moratorium by highlighting fracking’s consumption of fresh water. The following article was originally published in the San Francisco Daily Journal on July 14, 2014.more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly’s short session will begin on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed bi-weekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the state during the interim.more

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