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ANWR News: The Fine Print of President Obama’s Executive Action to Create Over 12 Million Acres of Wilderness

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is administratively implementing President Obama’s recommendation that certain lands in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska be designated as wilderness. FWS...more

Oil Production and Storage Facilities Must Maintain Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans

Small oil production and storage facilities often overlook their obligations to develop and implement oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans. These requirements have been issued by the USEPA under the...more

New Jersey Supreme Court: No Statute of Limitations for Private Claims for Contribution Under NJ Spill Act

Following principles of strict statutory construction and refusing to “unsettle a decades-long understanding in this State,” on January 26, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled that there is no statute of...more

Victory in Clean Water Act Case Saves Community’s Water Supply

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck secured a decision in the federal court for the District of Colorado precluding third parties from closing a Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) well that supplies water for Brownstein’s client,...more

Federal Judge Rules that State and Federal Law Preempts New Mexico’s Fracking Ban

On January 20, 2015 a U.S. District Judge overturned New Mexico’s ban on hydrocarbon extraction, which included a prohibition on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the state. (SWEPI, LP v. Mora County et al., Case No....more

Finding Fault with Fracking – Lawsuits and Earthquakes

Lisa Frick, our fictional Denton resident, who collected anti-fracking ordinance signatures to put on the Denton City Ballot now complains that fracking near old Texas Stadium caused earthquakes that harmed her twin sister...more

General Permits Are Also Entitled to a Permit Shield

On Tuesday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the “permit shield” provisions of the Clean Water Act protected ICG hazard from Sierra Club claims that effluent from ICG Hazard’s Thunder Ridge mine caused exceedances...more

Washington State Producers and Retailers of Mercury-Containing Lights Face New Regulations

The New Year brought with it new obligations for any company that produces or sells mercury-containing lights in (or into) Washington State. As of January 1, 2015, the State’s recycling program and corresponding funding...more

State Board Issues Notice of Potential Curtailment of Surface Water Rights Diversions

Recent Rainfall Not Enough to Stop Drought Emergency Measures - Despite some rainfall and the temporary lifting of certain 2014 surface water curtailment notices during the fall, the drought emergency in California...more

Meanwhile in Texas … Who Should Decide About Fracking?

Rep. Phil King has introduced two bills relating to fracking. House Bill 539 would add requirements for municipalities that propose petitions or ordinances that will affect oil and natural gas production. The Bill would...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - California needs 11 trillion gallons of water to recover from the drought: Los Angeles Times - Jan 17: A series of recent rainstorms helped deposit needed moisture to California,...more

Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bill to expedite federal review of some spects of proposed natural gas pipelines. Known as H.R. 161, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act is officially...more

FERC issues EIS for Algonquin Incremental Market gas project

Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have issued a final Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed natural gas transmission project connecting New York and New England. In that report, Commission staff found...more

MassDEP Finalizes Underground Storage Tank Regulations

MassDEP’s new regulations governing Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) became effective January 2, 2015.  MassDEP took responsibility for USTs from the Department of Fire Services in 2009 and initially relied on existing...more

MEPA Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Policy Available for Public Comment

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is accepting public comments on its proposed draft Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Policy...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - January 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: U.S. Supreme Court keeps in place protections for California's delta smelt - The U.S. Supreme Court last week kept in place environmental orders in California that protect the...more

Dual Studies Assess Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing of Oil and Gas Resources in California

The California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources and the California Council on Science and Technology recently released studies that examine the impact of hydraulic fracturing of oil...more

EPA Region 1 Extends Deadline for Comments on New MS4 Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems General Permit for...

EPA Region 1 has extended the deadline for the submission of comments to February 21, 2015 in response to the Draft General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts...more

2015 Texas Legislative Session Includes Twin Bills Concerning Municipal Fracking Bans

With the opening of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature on January 13, 2015, two of the more closely watched bills in the energy arena will be House Bill 539 (HB539) and House Bill 540 (HB540). HB539, filed on December...more

SHE Matters - Winter 2014/2015

In This Issue: - Fee For Intervention – Is It Set To Stay? - How To Protect Brand Reputation And Sales From The Risks Associated With A Product Recall - Review Of The Proposed Changes In The Sentencing Of Health...more

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda - January 2015

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s January 22, 2015 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on January 15, 2015. Agenda items E-6 and E-19 have not been summarized...more

Corps Issues New Compensatory Mitigation Guidelines for California

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division, has issued its “Final 2015 Regional Compensatory Mitigation and Monitoring Guidelines.” The Guidelines will apply in the Corps’ San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles,...more

2014 New York Hydraulic Fracturing Caselaw Update

As we approach the end of 2014, it may be useful to reflect on the impact of several important court cases decided in New York this year relating to oil and gas. While the decisions have mainly been against the industry and...more

Consider The Retained Acreage Clause

Have you ever wondered about the original purpose of the retained acreage clause? According to Professor Kramer, it was “to prevent the lessee from losing those portions of a lease that had productive wells thereon if the...more

IRS Releases Guidance on Performance and Quality Standards for Small Wind Energy Property

The IRS recently released Notice 2015-4 (the Notice), which provides performance and quality standards that small wind energy property (defined under section 48(c)(4) of the Code as property utilizing a “qualifying small wind...more

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