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Clean Water Act: New Rule Significantly Expands Reach of Federal Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) finalized the long-anticipated Clean Water Rule. The Rule defines the term “waters of the United States” as used by...more

EPA/Corps Adopt “Waters of the U.S.” Rule: What’s Next?

Wednesday, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released a prepublication version of the final rule defining “waters of the United States,” the jurisdictional trigger under the Clean Water Act. The term needs defining because...more

Oklahoma Follows Texas’ Lead in Prohibiting Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

In the wake of Texas’ recent “ban on banning hydraulic fracturing,” Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a similar law—SB 809—prohibiting municipal governments from regulating oil and gas drilling at the local level. The bill now...more

Looks Like Frack is Back, Governor Abbott Signs House Bill 40

Yesterday, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law House Bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, which leaves municipalities with minimal power to regulate the oil and gas industry. The bill takes effect immediately...more

The NEPA Sky Is Not Falling: Why the Hand-Wringing Over CEQ’s GHG Guidance?

From the halls of Congress to the pages of mainstream environmental media, numerous warnings of increased regulatory burdens and litigation mischief stemming from the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Revised Draft...more

New Executive Order on Federal Sustainability Promotes Responsible Government Procurement Policies

In March, President Obama issued Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.” It replaces and updates a number of Executive Orders and Memorandums, most notably replacing Executive Order...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

Week In Review - May 2015 #4

Special Session - As promised, Governor Mark Dayton has vetoed the $17 billion education funding bill on Thursday, as passed by the Legislature at the close of the 2015 session. Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill because it...more

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations...more

Minnesota Session Ends With Governor Threatening Veto

The Minnesota legislature concluded its business last evening with Governor Mark Dayton threatening to veto a $17 billion public education funding bill – a threat he carried through with earlier today. The governor issued the...more

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up its business late Monday night, meeting a constitutional deadline to finish its work for 2015 by midnight. Adding to the pressure to end on time, as part of the ongoing renovation of the...more

Pollinator Health Task Force Issues National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

On May 19 2015, President Obama’s interagency Pollinator Health Task Force -- co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- issued its long awaited and...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

The state House unveiled their budget proposal last week and while the full plan will come out early this week, the nearly $22 billion proposal reflects a clear upswing in the economy, with less cuts to major policy areas....more

Governor Signs Legislation Ending the Development of Regional Impact Program for New Development

On Thursday, May 14, 2015, Governor Scott signed into law CS/CS Senate Bill 1216, now Chapter 2015-30, Laws of Florida. This historic piece of legislation eliminates the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process...more

TSCA Reform: House Subcommittee Holds Markup of Revised Draft TSCA Bill and Passes Amended Draft

On May 14, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a markup of a revised discussion draft of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, prepared by Subcommittee Chair John Shimkus (R-IL)...more

U.S. House Passes Bill to Revise Corps and EPA Definition of “Waters of the United States”

On May 12, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the proposed rule published in the Federal...more

Energy & Environment Update - May 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Education - Department of State - Department of Treasury -...more

Salazar Says Draft NEPA GHG Guide Leaves Host Of Unresolved Issues

Former Obama administration Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is warning that the White House’s proposed guide for assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) leaves open a host of...more

North Carolina General Assembly Active on Renewable Energy Issues in 2015 Long Session

Two bills with significant renewable energy provisions were among those that survived the North Carolina General Assembly’s self-imposed “crossover” deadline of April 30, 2015. Most substantive bills must pass at least one...more

Five Georgia Environmental Bills to Watch in 2015

Georgia legislature warms up to solar panels, gets protective of coastal marshes, withdraws support for electric cars, and sacrifices LEED certifications in favor of jobs. April 2, 2015 marked final adjournment of the 2015...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Analysis of Substitute Version of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

A new version of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was considered for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on April 28, 2015. ...more

News from Second & State

It was all hands on deck this week, with two bills to amend the Tax Reform Code on the House voting schedule. These bills, if called up, would have been perfect vehicles for Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed changes to the...more

State Officials Welcome Clean Energy Advocates to State House for NECEC Clean Energy Day, Weigh in on Hot-Topics Facing the State

On Tuesday May 5th, members of state government, clean energy advocates, and business representatives assembled at the Massachusetts State House for the New England Clean Energy Council’s (NECEC’s) fourth annual Clean Energy...more

California Water Board Signs Off on Emergency Urban Water Use Restrictions

On May 5, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) adopted Emergency Regulations implementing a statewide 25% reduction of potable urban water use, which includes commercial, industrial, and institutional...more

Senate Holds Hearing on ESA Reform Bills

On May 6, 2015, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on several Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bills, including at least three that are similar to bills introduced in 2014 in the House of...more

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