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Fresno County Aggregate Mine Fends Off Court Challenge

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, No. F068818 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., Dec. 8, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld Fresno County’s (County) approval of the Carmelita Mine and Reclamation Project...more

Fifth District Rejects CEQA Challenge to Fresno County Aggregate Mine Project EIR In Partially Published Decision, Clarifies State...

In a lengthy, 65-page opinion filed December 8, 2014 (of which fully two-thirds was unpublished), the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Fresno County Superior Court’s judgment upholding the EIR, Conditional Use...more

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million In Grants To Producers And Researchers

On December 2, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $9 million in grants to support advanced biofuel production and the bioeconomy. More than $5 million in grants awarded to 220 producers nationwide are...more

The Great East/West Divide

I was honored to address the recent annual meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) in Reno, Nevada. Coming out west serves as a reminder of the chasm that exists between those Americans who earn...more

USDA Announces Release of Report Charting Path to Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

On November 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has released a report that details the pathway to commercializing affordable, renewable, and biodegradable...more

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Announces Small Business Awards

On November 12, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy held a press conference to announce the recipients of the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. In her comments, Administrator McCarthy stated that "a...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 11/14

EPA Proposes To Remove 72 Chemicals From Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredients List: On October 22, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its...more

Appalachian Biofuels LLC To Locate Headquarters In Virginia

On October 29, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) announced that Appalachian Biofuels LLC will invest about $3.5 million to establish its headquarters and an enzymatic biodiesel production facility in St. Paul,...more

USDA Proposes Amended Guidelines For Biobased Products For Federal Procurement

On October 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed to amend the regulations for the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products under USDA's BioPreferred Program. As explained in the Federal Register...more

BRAG Petitions EPA for Biodiesel Products Exemptions Already Granted to Petroleum Products

On October 21, 2014, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) submitted two petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting that biodiesel fuel manufacturers be granted the same...more

DOE Announces Funding For Landscape Design For Sustainable Bioenergy Systems

The Bioenergy Technologies Office within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), "Landscape Design for Sustainable Bioenergy Systems."...more

Energy & Environment Update - October 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Environmental Protection...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 10/20/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - With just over two weeks until election day, Congress is preparing for a brief but intense Lame Duck session, while continuing final campaign pushes. With several races still in the...more

EPA Draft Ruling Could Mean Significant Changes to How Stormwater Systems are Categorized

The last thing that public agency leaders want to hear is that looming changes may make operating and building new public infrastructure more challenging and expensive. Unfortunately, proposed changes by the Environmental...more

Texas Supreme Court Declines to Address Recovery for Stigma Damages in the Absence of a Permanent Physical Injury to Property

In a closely watched case, the Texas Supreme Court recently declined to address the issue of a right to recover damages for “stigma” in the absence of a permanent physical injury to property. (Houston Unlimited, Inc. v. Mel...more

USDA awards $68 million for energy projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $68 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The latest round of awards under the agency's Rural Development arm's Rural...more

Growing Michigan - Third Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - Food and Drug Administration Not Required to Ban Antibiotics Given to Food-Producing Animals - U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill -...more

DOE Announces Funding Opportunity For Targeted Algal Biofuels And Bioproducts

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $25 million in funding to reduce the cost of algal biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019. On behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office...more

Researchers Develop Technique For Turning Winery Waste Into Biofuels

Winery waste is composed of the skins, pulp, stalks, and seeds that are left over after grapes have been pressed. This waste cannot be used for animal feed or composted, so it typically ends up as toxic landfill. Researchers...more

Secretary Vilsack Confirms Administration Support For Biofuel Production Level

Last week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at a biofuel industry conference and addressed concerns raised over the likelihood that the final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule would...more

USDA Invests $68 Million In 540 Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Projects

On September 18, 2014, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. This is the most recent in a series of USDA actions designed to help...more

Bridging Troubled Water: Yes or No on California Prop 1?

Fall is here. Most of us can't tell, given the soaring temperatures outside. A better thermometer might be the onslaught of political commercials we're now seeing on television. To prepare for the elections in...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Defense - Department of Energy - Department of...more

USDA Awards Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, LLC $105 Million Loan Guarantee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has guaranteed a $105 million loan through Bank of America, N.A. to help Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels build a plant in McCarran, Nevada that would convert municipal waste into renewable...more

Second DOE-Funded Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery Opened

On September 3, 2014, POET-DSM's Project LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa, celebrated its grand opening. This will be the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant to use corn waste as a feedstock, using biochemical...more

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