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Redevelopment By Any Other Name Would Still Be Redevelopment…

It appears the state assembly is trying to get California back on the redevelopment wagon…again. (For a brief history lesson on redevelopment, see below.) Assembly Bill 2 (AB2), which passed the assembly earlier this month,...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

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

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

Amtrak 188: Why Should It Take Tragedy to Focus on Infrastructure?

This week’s horrific Amtrak accident just outside Philadelphia served as a grim reminder of our country’s political and economic challenges concerning infrastructure development. It perhaps gained even more attention than...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

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. Budget Work Continues, Gains Momentum in Appropriations - As the clock ticks towards the...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

Major Revision to Development of Regional Impact Review Process Passed by 2015 Florida Legislature; Awaits Action By Governor

On April 24, the Florida House of Representatives added its approval to CS/CS Senate Bill 1216, an omnibus growth management bill. Most significantly, for new projects that are not currently exempt, the bill replaces the...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

Louisiana Severance Tax Exemptions in Jeopardy

The 2015 Louisiana legislative session is in full swing and the lawmakers are dealing with a projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall. Of the many tax credits, exemptions and deductions that are in the legislature’s...more

Guests Laura DeVivo and Angel Sams Explain the N.C. General Assembly's Recently-Concluded and Critical "Crossover" Period

The "crossover" period has just ended in the North Carolina General Assembly, which is an inflection point for pending bills in each session. Here with a wonderful explanation of what "crossover" means, both technically and...more

The Ultimate Deus Ex Machina – Swingers Club Becomes a Church!

Every so often RLUIPA Defense feels the need to expand its reporting horizons. We usually stick to run-of-the-mill, pending or threatened litigation related to religious-land uses and RLUIPA. Sometimes we stray a bit and...more

Proposed Law Before N.C. General Assembly Would Overhaul State's Billboard and Outdoor Advertising Laws

Filed March 17, 2015, Senate Bill 320 proposes significant revisions to State laws governing billboards and outdoor advertising. In this post, we review some of the changes that would result from Senate Bill 320 in its...more

Is Urban Renewal Miami’s Next Economic Engine?

Miami may soon join the ranks of other major U.S. metropolises boasting innovative urban trail projects that have transformed neighborhoods and ignited a firestorm of private investment. ...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

Bill introduced in Senate to create permanent LIHTC rate floors

On May 5, 2015, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced the “Improving the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Rate Act” (S. 1193), which would create a permanent 9% minimum low-income housing tax credit...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

Executive Order B-30-15 And CEQA GHG Analysis: Evolving Uncertainty At The Intersection Of Law, Policy And Science

I recall that Mike Zischke, co-author of CEB’s excellent CEQA treatise, used to be fond of saying the “normal” or “usual rules” for analyzing cumulative impacts should apply to analysis of a project’s greenhouse gas (GHG)...more

Maryland Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Maryland’s annual legislative session ended on April 13, 2015, and with the close of the session came new legislation that affects environmental regulation in Maryland....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: Governor Brown touts aggressive plan to cut greenhouse gases: KPCC - Apr 29: California would aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under a plan announced Wednesday by...more

California Governor Aims to Reduce Emissions 40 Percent Below 1990 Levels by 2030

In an Executive Order issued yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown set “a new interim statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is...more

Georgia General Assembly Ends Water and Land Conservation Tax Credits

At the end of its recent session, the Georgia General Assembly passed HB 464 by unanimous votes to cap the land conservation tax credit at $30 million for 2016 and then eliminate it altogether at the end of 2016. ...more

Your Texas Legislature at Work, Part 2

The Texas legislature is still busy on energy issues. Is that good or bad? It depends on your situation; oil patch thieves won’t like it. Wind Energy - Senate Bill 931 would blow away the Renewable Portfolio...more

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