Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Maine DEP Plans to Tighten Opacity Standards in Response to EPA SIP Call

You think maintaining compliance with opacity standards is a challenge now – just wait. As anyone who has started a campfire knows, opacity (the density of the smoke) tends to be high when starting and ending fuel burning,...more

Stop the Presses: NPDES Permitees Must Comply With Their Permits

Earlier this month, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that NPDES permit holders must comply with all of the terms of their permits. I’m not sure why this should be earthshattering news, but the case does have some...more

Comment Period Begins for EPA CERCLA 108(b) Bonding Rule for Hardrock Mining Industry

On January 11, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for financial assurance requirements under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act for the hardrock...more

Sage Grouse Update: BLM Issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on Proposed Withdrawal of 10 Million Acres

On the last business day of 2016 the BLM released the DEIS on its proposed 20-year withdrawal of approximately 10 million acres of “sagebrush focal areas” (SFAs) in six western states from mineral location and entry under the...more

Utility-Scale Battery Storage Systems: Legal Issues and Opportunities

Federal and state government mandates and incentives, combined with technological advances, have dramatically increased renewable energy sources during the past decade. Variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind...more

American Iron & Steel Requirement At Issue In Water Infrastructure Legislation

In the early hours of December 10, after weeks of intense negotiations between House and Senate conferees, the Senate voted to send a final package containing Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) language to the President’s...more

Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment Released for Central California Federal Lands

On January 6, 2017, the federal Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued a notice of Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (“DRMP Amendment”) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”) for oil and gas leasing and...more

Wolverine Pipeline Capitulates in Response to Necessity Challenge

In return for dropping a necessity challenge, Wolverine Pipeline agreed to substantially modified easement and paid the attorney fees incurred in pursuing the challenge. As I have previously noted, greater flexibility...more

EPA FAQ on dam removal projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a document answering "Frequently Asked Questions" about the removal of obsolete dams. As noted by EPA, dams "provide important societal functions for drinking water...more

Sustainable Development Update - January 2017

Sustainable Development Focus - Why is improving the efficiency of small businesses so challenging? - Greentech Media - Dec 28 - Many voices have highlighted the expected leadership role of private-sector...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - - Program Requirement Revisions Related to the Public Water System Supervision Programs for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont - EPA is giving notice that...more

Revised Eagle “Incidental Take” Permit Regulations Strike a Better Balance

In December 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued new regulations that provide an important mechanism for renewable energy, transmission line and other development projects to obtain eagle “incidental...more

Green Tax Incentive Compendium

A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION. The Federal Internal Revenue Code provides a business income tax credit in the amount of $0.023 (2015) per kilowatt hour of electricity produced from qualifying renewable resources during a ten-year...more

Quality Built Homes Revisited: The Court of Appeals Weighs In On Critical Issues

If you happen to work in local government, are a developer who has worked with a local government, or simply have an interest in the world of municipal water and sewer services, you are no doubt aware of the North Carolina...more

Sustainability: The Road to a Circular Economy

The launch of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019, covering the eco-design and energy labelling framework last month is another key milestone in the Commission’s plan to transition the EU to a more circular economy. ...more

Value Trends of Gas Stations and Car Washes

In a previous post, “What is ‘Just Compensation’ For Gas Station Acquisitions,” we explored various methods for valuing gas stations and car washes in an eminent domain action, including a recommendation by a gas station...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - California sues to block offshore oil hydraulic fracturing - OC Register - Dec 20 - California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the California Coastal Commission filed...more

Black-Capped Vireo to be Removed From Endangered List, Un-Capping Development in Texas and Oklahoma

On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“USFWS” or “Service”) published a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) to remove the black-capped vireo (“BCV”) from the list of endangered and threatened species under...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump picks Perry for top U.S. energy job - Reuters - Dec 15 - President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday named former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the U.S. Department...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final Revised Eagle Rule

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published notice in the Federal Register of a long-anticipated final rule revising its eagle permitting regulations (Revised Eagle Rule). Concurrent with the Revised Eagle...more

PHMSA Issues Interim Final Rule on Underground Natural Gas Storage Safety - Incorporation of Industry Recommended Practices to...

On December 14, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR or Rule) addressing critical safety issues related to downhole facilities, including wells, wellbore...more

Energy in Transition: Trump Announces Additional Cabinet Nominees

President-Elect Donald Trump announced this week three new cabinet nominees who will certainly influence U.S. energy policy at home and abroad. This alert is intended to update clients on the President-Elect's nominees and...more

Renewable Alert Letter 27

On December 13, 2016, the Procurement Price Calculation Committee announced proposed procurement prices and other rates for FY2017 and beyond. Proposed procurement prices are shown for solar power of 10kW or more and...more

First-Ever Legal Challenge Filed Against Proposed Federal Offshore Wind Lease Auction

A coalition of fishing advocates, local towns, and municipalities from New Jersey to Rhode Island has sued the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and sought a temporary restraining...more

Clean Power Plan's Future in Jeopardy Under Trump

During his campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump vowed to scrap President Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule. The CPP is the cornerstone of President Obama's environmental legacy. The rule establishes the first national...more

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