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California Energy Commission Delays Compliance With Energy Disclosure Program for Smaller Nonresidential Buildings

The California Energy Commission (CEC) implemented the Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program in two phases. The first phase took effect on January 1, 2014 and applies to nonresidential buildings of at least...more

Other 2014 Environmental and Land Use Legislation: Fracking, Brownfields, State Land Conservation, Private Easements, Wood Burning...

The General Assembly passed noteworthy bills on six diverse environmental and land use subjects. Hydraulic Fracturing Waste - A deceptively simple bill concerning hydraulic fracturing waste, PA 14-200, emerged...more

2014 Legislative Update: Environment, Growth Management and Water

CS/CS/CS/HB 325 amends statutory provisions relating to the brownfield program and modifies the procedures for establishing a brownfield area. The bill also authorizes the local government designating a brownfield area to use...more

Financial Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Determined By Reasonably Prudent Person

In SPRAWLDEF et al. v. San Franscisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, et al. (“SPRAWLDEF”)(certified for publication 5/28/2014), the First Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decision and held the San...more

Minnesota Brownfields Soil Reuse Study Identifies Significant Cost-Saving and Carbon Reduction Opportunities

Stoel Rives environmental analyst Steve Heurung was among the co-authors of a Minnesota Brownfields report commissioned by Hennepin County to evaluate the potential for cost savings associated with the off-site reuse of soil...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

City Fails to Adequately Mitigate "Urban Decay" and Energy Impacts of Big Box Retail Project

In the latest decision addressing challenges to "big box" projects under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), on February 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal invalidated the approval of a retail project in...more

CEQA Alert: Court of Appeal Addresses Inadequate Blight/Urban Decay Mitigation and Energy Impact Analyses

In California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (opinion filed 2/28/14; partial publication ordered 4/1/14), the Third Appellate District ruled that the City of Woodland violated the California Environmental Quality...more

Developing Renewable Energy Projects on Brownfields: Mitigating Enivronmental Risks & Liabilities

“Greenfield” utility-scale renewable energy projects have generated both considerable praise and criticism. Government agencies and the public generally applaud efforts to generate renewable energy, while at the same time,...more

Construction and Land Use Newsletter - March 2014

Please see full newsletter below for more information. - Lorton Landfill Dispute Nearing Board of Supervisors’ Review - I Know My (Vested) Rights! Developing a Project in a Changing Climate - Excerpt from...more

“Houston, We May Have a Problem!” — Surface Owner Who Put up “Roadblock” to Oil Driller’s Use of Property to Service Wells in a...

The Texas Supreme Court’s anticipated ruling in the case of Key Operating Equipment Inc. v. Will Hegar and Loree Hegar could significantly impact the ability of oil and gas producers to gain access to wells that are part of...more

Shale Gas in the UK: a year in review (a regulatory and policy update)

Introduction - Shale gas exploration is now featuring in the news headlines in the UK on an almost daily basis. The positions of those for and against extraction of unconventional gas through hydraulic fracturing...more

UK Government Considers Curtailing Trespass Laws in Favour of Fracking

Following a change to planning laws that was welcomed by developers, government shows signs of promoting shale gas extraction operations in the UK. The UK government has announced that it is reviewing the existing...more

Changes To California Title 24 Energy Use Requirements Effective July 1, 2014

On July 1, 2014, 2013 CALGreen, Part 11, Title 24, of the California Code of Regulations will go into effect. As a result, certain nonresidential additions and alterations will trigger compliance with more stringent...more

Rumblings From A Louisiana Seismic Agreement

If the significance of a lawsuit can be gauged by the 23 lawyers and 10 firms identified in the opinion, Olympia Minerals, LLC, et al v. HS Resources, Inc., et al., is as noteworthy as Bush v. Gore, Brown v. Board of...more

LEED Silver Requirement To Be Introduced in Montgomery County

On January 21, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner will introduce 13 legislative initiatives to increase the County's commitment, in the public and private sector, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent...more

EPA Issues Rule Approving New ASTM E1527-13 Standard For All Appropriate Inquiries

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final rule approving the use of ASTM International’s revised “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site...more

Public Interest in Renewable Energy May Outweigh the Purpose of the Williamson Act; Cancellation of Williamson Act Contracts May...

After a Central Valley county cancelled Williamson Act contracts on ranchland to make way for a solar energy plant, several environmental groups sued challenging the County’s decision. The trial court found against the...more

Proposed Amendments to VSMP Regulations Would Move Goal Posts

The State Water Control Board recently issued a Public Notice concerning proposed amendments to the Virginia Stormwater Management Regulations, 9 VAC 25-870, et seq. (the “Regulations”), and indicated it will consider those...more

New York Landowners Threaten State with Takings Claims over Drilling Moratorium

In a draft complaint circulated to its members this week, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York—a group of pro-drilling landowners—laid out several claims against state agencies and Governor Andrew Cuomo as a result of...more

2013 CEQA and Land Use Legislative Roundup: Baby Steps, Few Leaps as California Remains Committed to Sustainable Policies

Although 2013 was not a banner year for the passage of new environmental legislation, Governor Brown did sign several bills that make modest changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), revisit incentives for...more

Capital Infusion: Practical Environmental Considerations in Acquiring or Securing Financing with Real Estate

This article focuses on environmental due diligence issues in the context of acquiring commercial/industrial real estate or using real property to secure financing. The analysis and risk factors for the acquisition of real...more

Environmental Impact Report Must Compare Existing Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Those of the Proposed Project

A city approved relocation and expansion of an existing Wal-Mart into a 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter. Opponents of the expansion sued, claiming the project approval violated the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)...more

Next Application Period Approaches for New Jersey Solar Applications

On October 15, 2013, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (the Board) will begin accepting applications for solar projects under Subsection (q) of the New Jersey Solar Act (the Act). See N.J.S.A. 48:3-87(q). ...more

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