Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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SC Public Policy Update - April 2016 #5

What's New - SENATE - The Senate had a very active week of floor debate as members worked through the calendar in an attempt to send bills to the House of Representatives before the May 1st crossover deadline. The...more

Coal: Hope in the Face of Pressure?

The coal industry has experienced substantial economic turmoil over the recent past, including bankruptcies – most recently by Peabody Energy Corporation – but also by Arch Coal, Inc., Walter Energy, Inc., and Patriot Coal...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges - All 10 EPA regions are seeking public comment on the draft 2017...more

Alberta’s Metis Consultation Framework

On April 4, 2016, the Government of Alberta (“GoA”) released The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2015 (the “Policy”) as well as The Government of...more

Sustainable Development Update - April 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - Simon Property Group and Current, powered by GE, collaborate on mall of the future - PRNewswire - Apr 19 - Simon Property Group, a global leader in retail real estate, and...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawsuit claims Delta fish harmed by relaxed water standards - Modesto Bee - Apr 25 - Relaxed water quality standards during the drought have harmed salmon, smelt, and other fish...more

EPA Methane Rules Are Coming

“Remember, I can do anything to anybody”, deranged and murderous Roman emperor Caligula to his grandmother (Julia, widow of Tiberius and herself no stranger to things done to other people as and when they pleased)....more

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...more

Can Solar Reboot Your Coal-Fired Plant Site?

The future of coal-fired plants is not bright. With regulations weighing on them, many plant operators are powering down and asking themselves what’s next for their sites. Solar offers viable options for reusing a plant site....more

Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or...more

New Laws Reform California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act

True to his word, Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills, AB 1142 and SB 209, into law on Monday to reform California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA). Now, before getting too excited, keep in mind that the new...more

Sustainable Development Update - April 2016

Sustainable Development Focus - Green Buildings are good for the environment, occupants, and the bottom line - CBRE - Apr 14 - Green buildings are good for the environment—that is well known. But what benefits...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (April 2016)

The new year brought with it several noteworthy developments in the fracking world. These include: a new lawsuit in connection with the Keystone Pipeline; legal action against the Department of Interior (“DOI”) Federal Bureau...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: Largest West Coast Terminal Proposal Suffocating Under Delay

The largest proposed crude-by-rail (CBR) transloading facility on the West Coast recently survived a major hurdle to its ultimate construction and operation—a lease extension. But with the proposed project enduring nearly...more

Court Holds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is Not Obligated to Ensure Migratory Bird Treaty Act or Bald and Golden Eagle...

On March 29, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) in a lawsuit involving the grant of a lease to Tule Wind, LLC for...more

Federal dams and preliminary permits

U.S. federal entities own dams with untapped hydropower potential that could be developed by private parties -- but a recent regulatory decision highlights the difficulty of winning key approvals when the federal dam owner...more

Renewable Energy Projects Are Making Impacts in Several Ways – – Nationally and Worldwide

Renewable energy investments (primarily solar and wind generation) set a record in 2015 with a collective investment of $286 billion. This according to a report from the United Nations Environment Progamme. (Climate Central...more

What is President H.R. Clinton’s Energy Policy?

Even as the number of 2016 presidential candidates in both parties has dwindled, the media -- particularly television news -- has yet to focus on an in-depth discussion of the candidates’ policy proposals. While it was...more

Seventh Circuit Upholds FERC's Authority to Abrogate Transmission Owner Rights of First Refusal

Does FERC have authority to override contracts between a regional transmission organization (RTO) and incumbent utilities giving the latter rights of first refusal (ROFR) to build new regional transmission facilities? It...more

Colorado House Votes Down Bill Giving Local Authorities Power Over Fracking

Two Democrats joined the Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives on April 4, 2016, to defeat a bill that sought to assert local government control over oil and gas drilling. Drilling operations in Colorado have...more

EPA Proposes Significant Expansions of Its Risk Management/Accidental Release Prevention Program

On March 14, 2016, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed revisionsto the Risk Management Program (RMP) (also known as Accidental Release Prevention) rule at 40 CFR Part 68, under Section 112(r) of the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Justices suggest support for landowners in wetlands case - Bloomberg - Mar 30 - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled in oral argument this week...more

Utah conduit hydropower project qualifies

Federal energy regulators have issued a letter determining that a proposed Utah hydropower project meets criteria for development without needing a hydropower license. Castle Valley Special Service District's proposed Ferron...more

Gas Company May Challenge Local Ordinance Prohibiting Deposit of Flowback Water into Underground Injection Wells

A Federal Magistrate Judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that an oil and gas exploration company may challenge a township ordinance that makes it unlawful to deposit flowback water into underground injection wells within the...more

California floating offshore wind project proposed

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is moving toward the prospect of leasing sites for commercial wind energy development in federal waters offshore California. A January 2016 request by Trident Winds, LLC for a lease...more

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