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Key Takeaways From the Associated Industries of Florida Water Forum

Last week I was honored to serve as lead moderator at the 2015 Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) Water Forum held in Orlando, Florida. As moderator, I led dynamic conversations on a wide range of water-related issues,...more

FCA Publishes New Market Watch Focusing on Commodities Traders and Market Abuse

On September 3, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published issue 49 of Market Watch, its newsletter on market conduct and transaction reporting issues. In it, the FCA sets out its findings following a thematic review it...more

Farm Service Agency Announces Start Of BCAP Enrollment

On August 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the start of enrollment for financial assistance through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to assist in growing new...more

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

Is Iran Open for Business for U.S. Exporters?

On August 7, 2015, the U.S. Government issued a revised Guidance regarding Iran and also issued a Third Amended Statement of Licensing Policy on Activities Related to the Safety of Iran’s Civil Aviation Industry. The bottom...more

California Drought Prompts Bout Among Regulators and Farmers

As the drought drags on and lawns grow brown across California, a battle is raging over the scope of the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to restrict the diversion of water from rivers, lakes and...more

Feinstein Introduces the California Emergency Drought Relief Act

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill last week to help address ongoing and future drought in California. The bill, known as the California Emergency Drought Relief Act (Act), is expected to be folded into broader...more

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - California State Water Board seeks fines from local water district for alleged drought-related violations: Sacramento Bee - Jul 20 - State drought regulators went on the offensive against...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

Dead in the Water: The Western Water and American Food Security Act

The Western Water and American Food Security Act was — and is — pre-ordained to fail. It exacerbates the split within California over drought response, takes on the always controversial Endangered Species Act and, thereby,...more

Joint Agency Symposium Discusses Role of Electricity Sector in California’s 2030 GHG Reduction Goals

Last week, several state agencies and the California Independent System Operator held a symposium on ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation while maintaining an affordable and reliable...more

Energy Companies and Utilities Are Well Advised to Engage in Drone Privacy Discussions

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that, as of July 9, 2015, it has granted 746 Petitions for Exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 authorizing commercial operations with...more

Senators Sign Letter Of Support For Consistent Federal Biomass Policy

On June 30, 2015, 46 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the EPA, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and USDA stating that "[f]ederal policies across all departments and agencies must remove any uncertainties and contradictions...more

BLM Receives Challenges to Greater Sage-Grouse Plans From All Sides

Following the May 28, 2015 release by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of 14 final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) for land use plans designed to provide greater protection to the greater sage-grouse on...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Most water rights holders facing cuts miss state compliance deadline: Los Angeles Times - Jun 22: The majority of California growers, irrigation districts, and others who have been...more

DOE Announces $55 million To Fund GENSETS And TERRA Programs

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $55 million in funding for projects to accelerate biomass development and develop generator technologies under the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy...more

USDA Announces Biobased Products Report And Changes To Biobased Programs

On June 17, 2015, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the release of a report to congress that builds on the Why Biobased? report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2014. The new report, An...more

USDA Is Now Accepting Applications From States For Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership

On June 12, 2015, the USDA began accepting applications for grants under the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). Through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), BIP will provide up to $100 million in grants to support...more

Post Session News

Minimum Wage Hike for Airport Workers - On Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission backed a $10 an hour minimum wage for about 2,800 employees of airline subcontractors. Commission members voted 11-4 for...more

USDA Issues Final Rule Amending Voluntary Labeling Program For Biobased Products

On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued final amendments to the regulations concerning the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products. The rule is intended to incorporate statutory amendments...more

EPA and the Army Corps Issue Final Clean Water Rule, but Does This New “Line in the Water” Clarify, Expand or Narrow Clean Water...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) jointly released a final rule (the “Clean Water Rule”) redefining the scope of their shared jurisdiction under...more

RSB Votes To Approve Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria And Compliance Indicators

On June 1, 2015, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) voted to pass the new Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria and Compliance Indicators standard. The standard was approved as an optional module for those undergoing...more

California Appellate Court: CDFW Notification Required for Water Diversions

Any plans to “substantially divert” water from a river or stream requires notification to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Court of Appeal found. In reversing a lower court’s decision that favored...more

European Parliament Votes To Continue Requiring Ethanol

On May 20, 2015, the European Parliament voted to reject a plan that would eliminate the requirement for import licenses of ethanol of agricultural origin. The plan was rejected with a vote of 486 to 164 amid concerns that...more

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