Energy & Utilities Environmental

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Energy & Utilities issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Construction of two new 500 kV transmission lines extending from Lincoln County, New Mexico to Pinal County, Arizona

On February 3, 2016, the Arizona Corporation Commission (“Commission”) by a 3-2 vote issued a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility to SunZia Transmission, LLC to construct two new 500 kV transmission lines extending...more

Food-Processing Sector May Be U.S. EPA’s Next Enforcement Target

Every three years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets national enforcement initiatives to focus its civil and criminal enforcement resources on specific environmental issues. On September 15, 2015,...more

Streamlining the Siting of Transmission in the West - Why Transmission and Renewable Energy Project Developers Should Care About...

Early this month, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued notice (81 FR 5283) of a proposed rule aimed at streamlining the pre-application process for transmission developers to obtain federal authorization to construct and...more

EPA Proposes to Add Vapor Intrusion Pathway Assessment to Superfund Listing System

Last week, we wrote about an audit that MassDEP is conducting of previously closed sites to look for high concentrations of TCE in soils and groundwater. The intent of the audit is to address potential vapor intrusion. The...more

Alberta Announces Modernized Royalty Framework

On January 29, 2016, the Alberta government released the Alberta at a Crossroads - Royalty Review Advisory Panel Report and announced that it will begin drafting a modernized royalty framework (MRF) based on all of the...more

Florida Considers Competing Bills Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing

A regulatory framework for hydraulic fracturing, or fracing, currently does not exist in Florida. Actually, neither does fracing itself, but both of those things could change soon. The State Affairs Committee passed a...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - California extends mandatory water cuts despite growing snowpack - Sacramento Bee - Feb 2 - California’s drought regulators agreed Tuesday to extend water conservation mandates...more

Alberta announces Petrochemicals Diversification Program

On February 1, 2016, the Alberta government announced a new initiative to encourage the upgrading of methane and propane in the province, called the Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP). Details of the PDP were issued...more

Neste’s Renewable Diesel Is Now Available In Italian Alps, Will Power Marcialonga Cross-Country Ski

On January 26, 2016, Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member Neste Oil announced that Tamoil has begun selling arctic diesel containing renewable diesel produced by Neste in the northern Italian Alps...more

Vermont issues updated energy plan

Vermont energy regulators have completed an update of key energy and electricity plans for that state. The Vermont Department of Public Service has updated the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) and Electric Plan, two...more

Department of the Interior Releases Proposed Rule to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas

Advances in oil and gas production technology, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have dramatically increased the production of oil and gas in the United States by unlocking shale gas and other resources...more

Renewable Energy Update - February 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - PG&E launches program to let all customers go 100 percent solar - Solar Industry Magazine - Feb 3 - Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has officially launched its previously...more

What Must Be Done for Wind and Solar Projects to Have “Begun Construction” under the New PTC and ITC?

With the recent extension of the federal income tax credits available for renewable energy projects, practitioners and industry participants have raised questions as to how the “begun construction” rules will apply under...more

Thirty States and Numerous Other Interested Parties Seek an Immediate Supreme Court Stay of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”

On January 26, 2016, 29 states and state agencies, including Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Mississippi (the “29 States”), submitted an application (the “29 States Application”) to the United States...more

If It Walks Like a Carbon Tax and Talks Like a Carbon Tax, (Then the GOP Hates It.)

On February 4, 2015, the White House released a fact sheet describing its efforts to create a “21st Century Clean Transportation System”. There’s a lot of interesting material in the plan, but all the headlines have been on...more

Court in BP Oil Spill Litigation Denies Standing for Special Purpose Entities Created Solely for Litigation

A January 4, 2016 opinion in the Southern District of Texas by Judge Keith Ellison (“Op.”) in the In re: BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation, MDL No. 4:10-md-2185, has taken up the issue of whether plaintiffs can properly assign...more

DWR Put’s Money Where Its Mouth Is In Ag Water Efficiency Grant Program

California’s unique geography and climate have allowed the State to become one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts...more

Restoring old mill hydro sites and FERC licensure

Suppose you own an existing water powered mill complex whose hydromechanical facilities have not been operational for decades. You would like to develop a hydropower project at the site, using the existing dam, headrace, and...more

No Issuance of Federal Offshore Fracking Permits Until May 2016

On January 29, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”), agencies within the federal Department of the Interior (“DOI”), agreed to put a temporary...more

RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES IN VICTORIA HELPS PAVE THE WAY FOR GROWTH IN SOLAR DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

Recent legislative changes in Victoria have given impetus to the debate about rooftop solar and the extent to which householders and businesses can access the benefits of this plentiful source of renewable energy. These...more

China's “RoHS 2” Regulation: What Manufacturers Must Know

After years of deliberation and industry anticipation, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) promulgated the “RoHS 2” regulation on January 21, 2016, with the formal (translated) title “Management...more

Energy Bill the Focus of Congressional Debate

Congress has spent a significant chunk of the new year focused on a bipartisan energy bill, which, if passed, would be the first broad bipartisan energy package in nearly ten years. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015...more

ENERGY STAR Disqualifications on the Rise: How to Make Sure Your Product Isn’t Next

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) appears to have significantly increased its enforcement of the ENERGY STAR Program’s conformity verification rules over the past year. During 2015, under the broad category of...more

Latin American Environmental Regulatory Tracker

This month’s tracker reflects key initiatives from December 15, 2015 – January 15, 2016. Happy New Year! Although activity typically slows down over the holidays, the New Year is off to a fast start, signaling what will...more

Avoiding A Water Crisis Similar to That of Flint Will Require Both Technical and Practical Effort

The problems with the quality of drinking water in Flint, Michigan, are not necessarily an isolated collection of failures. From a technical standpoint, the potential for lead leaching into drinking water systems in many...more

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