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Florida Considers Competing Bills Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing

A regulatory framework for hydraulic fracturing, or fracing, currently does not exist in Florida. Actually, neither does fracing itself, but both of those things could change soon. The State Affairs Committee passed a...more

The FAST Act Seeks to Streamline the Environmental Review of Infrastructure Projects

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act—a five-year, $305-billion transportation authorization and spending bill. The FAST Act largely focuses on funding...more

Who Pays to Fix the Aliso Canyon Methane Leak?

As nearly everyone has heard by now, on Octobe??r 23, 2015, a leak at a Southern California Gas Company (“SoCalGas”) natural gas storage well was discovered by crews at the Aliso Canyon storage field in Los Angeles. In a Jan...more

New Water Law Will Affect Everyone Who Uses Water in Florida

On January 14, 2016, the officers of the Legislature presented CS/CS/SB 552 to Governor Scott for signature. More famously known as the "Water Bill," this 134-page page marvel of compromise proves that it is still possible to...more

Utah Congressmen Unveil Landmark Public Land Bill

On January 20, Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz unveiled a “discussion draft” of the Utah Public Lands Initiative Act. The proposed bill undertakes the difficult task of balancing economic development and...more

Protection of Florida's "Outstanding Springs" Highlights State's New Water Law

The Florida Legislature recently approved major water legislation, which Gov. Rick Scott signed into law on Jan. 21, 2016. The bill creates new water law for "outstanding Florida springs," including timelines for the...more

FAST Act Expedites Permitting and Environmental Review for Large Infrastructure Projects

Expedited permitting and environmental review for complex infrastructure projects may soon be a reality. Buried at the end of its most recent transportation reauthorization package (the “FAST Act” or “Act”) is a significant...more

ESA Roundup – Lawmakers and Lions, Oh My!

After weeks of negotiations, on December 18, 2015, Congress finally approved the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus spending bill. One hotly debated issue related to the controversial greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). ...more

New California Laws Impacting Public Agencies

This comprehensive round-up includes new legislation that will impact cities, counties, special districts and schools. There were many bills passed by California lawmakers this year that will impact municipalities and...more

Presidential Memorandum Promotes Pre-Project Mitigation and Restoration Banking: Implications for Energy Projects and Related...

On November 3, 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum (Memorandum) that potentially opens the door to agency attempts to expand mitigation obligations beyond what is required under law while also...more

Solar and Wind Tax Credits Benefit from Proposed Compromise on Government Spending Bill

Tuesday night, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other congressional leaders released a proposed legislative compromise that would fund the government through September 30, 2016, extend tax credits for solar and wind projects and...more

Renewable Energy Tax Credits Receive Multiyear Extension in Congressional Omnibus Bill

Congressional leadership reached agreement late last evening on an omnibus spending and tax bill that will be voted on by the House and Senate later this week. The bill reflects a global agreement among the leaders on tax and...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review: Spotlight on Government, Regulatory and Agriculture Reform

This session the NCGA passed four major bills dealing with Government, Regulatory and Agriculture Reform. State attractions were transferred from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources tthe Department of Cultural...more

Senate Votes To Do Away with WOTUS

In November, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution of disapproval (SJR 22) to get rid of the controversial "Waters of the United States" rule (WOTUS). A wide range of farm groups oppose the legislation which is aimed at...more

Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill Looks to Be Moving Forward

We’ve been following the status of highway and transportation funding for quite some time, previously noting that Congress kept kicking the can down the road without agreeing on a long-term solution. Finally, that is no...more

Seeking Net Benefits: President Obama Issues New Federal Policy on Addressing and Mitigating Environmental Harm Early in the...

On November 3, 2015, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum intended to encourage federal agencies to consider land use planning more holistically, clearly and consistently, addressing mitigation needs before they...more

Presidential Memorandum on Natural Resources Mitigation Policy: Avoid, Minimize and Compensate

President Barack Obama recently ordered the heads of five federal agencies (U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic...more

To Mitigate or Not to Mitigate: No Longer a Question for Environmental Reviews?

Even the casual college football observer has probably seen by now the wild final play of the Duke-Miami game on October 31. After the game ended, it was determined that Miami literally stole the win as a result of referee...more

President Issues Memo regarding Mitigation of Natural Resources Impacts

On November 3, 2015, the President issued a memorandum entitled “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.” In it, he states “[t]his memorandum will encourage private...more

Congressional Challenges Loom for Clean Power Plan Final Rule

Before the end of the year, federal lawmakers are expected to undertake a series of actions to limit, amend, delay or repeal President Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) final rule. The final rule was formally published on Oct....more

Governor Signs Amendments to SGMA, with Provisions for Water Utilities Regulated by CPUC

In the last two months, Governor Brown has signed several bills into law, amending the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA or the Act). Two bills, Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226, addressed the specifics...more

Governor Brown Authorizes Streamlined Groundwater Basin Adjudications and Private Party Participation Under Sustainable...

On Friday, October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed a suite of bills that has the potential to significantly increase litigation over groundwater rights. Together, Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226 authorize streamlined...more

Governor Signs New SGMA Legislation Outlining Procedures for Groundwater Adjudications

On Friday, October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law two bills, Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226, which outline procedures specific to groundwater adjudications. Last year, the legislature passed the Sustainable...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. New Interim DEP Commissioner - On Tuesday, September 8, at 4:30 pm Avery Day was sworn in as...more

Draft EEA Environmental Justice Policy Released in Massachusetts

In January, we reported on the issuance of an executive order on environmental justice (EJ) by the administration of outgoing Massachusetts Governor Patrick, provided a survey of the EJ framework in Massachusetts, and...more

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