Energy & Utilities Administrative Agency

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Texas PUC to Submit Proposed Rules for Adoption

In September 2014, responsibility for regulation of water and wastewater utilities was transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to the Public Utility Commission (PUC). The transfer allows TCEQ to...more

FERC Proposes Tighter “Hold-Harmless” Commitment Standards for Utility Mergers

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is proposing to revise its standards for determining whether proposed utility mergers and other asset transfer transactions subject to its jurisdiction under Section 203 of the...more

California Supreme Court To Resolve Appellate Court Split on Federal Preemption in Railroad Regulation

On December 10, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted petition for review in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority to resolve a split between the First and Third District Courts of Appeal. (230...more

MassDEP Finalizes Underground Storage Tank Regulations

MassDEP’s new regulations governing Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) became effective January 2, 2015.  MassDEP took responsibility for USTs from the Department of Fire Services in 2009 and initially relied on existing...more

MEPA Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Policy Available for Public Comment

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is accepting public comments on its proposed draft Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Policy...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - January 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: U.S. Supreme Court keeps in place protections for California's delta smelt - The U.S. Supreme Court last week kept in place environmental orders in California that protect the...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...more

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda - January 2015

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s January 22, 2015 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on January 15, 2015. Agenda items E-6 and E-19 have not been summarized...more

IDEA Campus Energy Conference Arriving Soon in Denver

The International District Energy Association’s (IDEA) Campus Energy Conference comes to Denver, Colorado, February 10-13, 2015. The conference program lists a wide range of energy issues that affect campus energy systems....more

Oil Patch Regulators Order Bakken Crude “Stabilized,” A Step to Enhance Oil Train Safety

On December 9 the North Dakota Industrial Commission issued an Order requiring production facilities to separate volatile gases, the so-called “light ends,” like propane and butane, from crude oil before it is shipped to...more

Reversing Course, EPA Tightens Its RCRA Hazardous Waste Recycling Rules

After years of relative easing in its interpretation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act rules that govern industrial recycling, the Environmental Protection Agency is now taking a harder line. A recently issued...more

State Regulators Are On Track To Improve Oil Train Safety

Our November 13 post noted that most of the crude oil from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota is shipped to ports and refineries throughout the United States by rail, typically in unit trains with one hundred cars or more....more

Study quantifies agency costs in fuel pass-throughs

A 2015 American Economic Review Paper highlights the higher fuel costs passed through by regulated coal-fired power plants versus their deregulated counterparts. The paper looked at regulated power plants that have become...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 1/15

Predictions And Outlook For EPA's Office Of Chemical Safety And Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) 2015: 2015 will be a very interesting year. There are two overarching considerations that will make the year more difficult to...more

2015 Oil and Gas Regulatory Outlook

The U.S. government recently announced plans for a number of regulatory initiatives in 2015 that will affect the oil and gas industry. Planned Federal Regulations Target the Oil and Gas Industry Twice per year, the U.S....more

Local Agencies that Can Recover Fees Through Prop 218 Process are Ineligible for State Reimbursements

Decision from the Commission on State Mandates - Several agricultural water suppliers seeking reimbursement for state-mandated activities under the Water Conservation Act of 2009 are ineligible to receive state...more

Competition & Regulation Update: Rebidding In The National Electricity Market – Good Faith Rebidding And Ramp Rates

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is currently consulting on two related rule changes regarding rebidding in the National Electricity Market (NEM): - Good faith rebidding requirement; and - Ramp rates...more

Uncertainty Surrounding Demand Response Continues into the New Year

Many issues facing FERC in 2014 have carried over to 2015. Topping the list is the uncertain future of demand response in wholesale electricity markets. Demand response’s future hinges on decisions at FERC, in the federal...more

SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Permanent Regulations Finalized

On December 30, 2014, the California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) approved the Final Permanent Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations (“Permanent Regulations”). The regulations go into effect on July 1, 2015, and the...more

DOI Proposes Overhaul Of Federal And Indian Mineral Lease Royalty Valuation Standards

On January 6, 2015, the Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (“ONRR”) issued a proposed regulation that would substantially modify existing regulations in 30 C.F.R. Part 1206 for the valuation for...more

FERC Enforcement – What to Expect in 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) recently released its annual report on enforcement activities for 2014. As is typical, Enforcement identified its primary concerns as...more

Predictions And Outlook For EPA’s Office Of Chemical Safety And Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) 2015

FORECAST 2015 - 2015 will be a very interesting year. There are two overarching considerations that will make the year more difficult to predict than merely assuming most of this year’s issues will simply be extensions...more

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda - December 2014

In This Issue: - Administrative Items - Electric Items - Gas Items - Hydro Item - Certificate Items - Excerpt from Electric Items: E-2: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Midcontinent Independent...more

FERC rules tribes exempt from some energy regulation

When a Native American tribe acquires a hydroelectric power plant licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, does the project become exempt from some federal regulations? Yes, according to a FERC order...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide FutureGen Clean Coal Dispute

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide an issue of potentially enormous consequence to a major Illinois utility, agreeing to review an order of the Illinois Commerce Commission...more

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