Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use Environmental

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Xcel Energy Reports 24 Community Solar Garden Projects are Beginning Construction

Xcel Energy filed its monthly report for the Community Solar Garden program with the Public Utilities Commission last week, revealing that 24 projects are moving to the beginning stages of construction....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board amends regional MS4 permit to provide alternate compliance: Allen Matkin - Nov 19: On Wednesday afternoon, the San Diego Regional Water...more

Alberta Announces Climate Leadership Plan

Yesterday, the Alberta government announced its Climate Leadership Plan (Plan) and released to the public the Climate Leadership Report to Minister (Report) it commissioned from the Climate Change Advisory Panel. While...more

Crude-By-Rail Update: Siting a Crude Oil Transloading Terminal in California? Developers Should Seek Old Industrial Sites and...

Proposed crude-by-rail (CBR) projects in California increasingly face opposition lawsuits designed to stall and derail the terminals. The suits often focus on alleged noncompliance with the California Environmental Quality...more

Another Season of Change in North Carolina Environmental Law - Part II

As discussed in Part I of our environmental legislative update published on November 12, 2015, the 2015 North Carolina legislative session resulted in a great deal of change for the state’s environmental programs....more

The Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Releases First Draft of Recommendations to Gov. Wolf for Future Pipeline...

Overview of the Task Force - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF) recently released the first draft of its report. In May 2015, Gov. Wolf announced the...more

UPDATE: Texas RRC Agrees Earthquakes Not Caused by EnerVest, XTO Injection Wells

In a November 3 decision, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) agreed with an administrative law judge (ALJ) that two wastewater injection wells, one operated by EnerVest Operating LLC and the other by Exxon Mobil Corp....more

Kern County Acts to Streamline Oil & Gas Permitting

In a process that took nearly three years to complete, on Monday, November 9, the Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a significant change to its oil and gas regulations....more

Interior Announces Blueprint for Renewable Energy and Transmission Development on Public Lands in the California Desert

Earlier this week, the Department of the Interior announced the federal component of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), an innovative landscape-scale plan that identifies areas best suited for...more

Another Season of Change in North Carolina Environmental Law – Part I

The 2015 North Carolina legislative session resulted in a great deal of change for the state’s environmental agency and for the statutory programs it administers. The legislative session saw fundamental organizational changes...more

Energy-Related Legislation Moves Forward

A flurry of energy-related legislation moved forward over the past week, including several measures aimed at overturning controversial rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While most will not become law –...more

Environmental Justice Lawsuit Accuses L.A. of Discriminatory Oil Permitting

On Friday, November 6, three environmental organizations filed suit against the City of Los Angeles in California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. The three groups, Youth for Environmental Justice, the Center for...more

Compliance with the Clean Air Act Increasingly Unlikely to Protect Companies from Nuisance Suits

A recent decision out of the Sixth Circuit found that the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) does not preempt common law claims brought against an emitter based on the law of the state in which the emitter operates. This decision, Merrick...more

Do You Dare to Flare? A North Dakota Field Office Provides a View Into the Federal Regulatory Future

While high-profile regulatory efforts focused on hydraulic fracturing, waters of the United States, sage grouse, and greenhouse gas emissions have grabbed media headlines over the last several months, a potent stew of...more

Presidential Memo Imparts “Moral Obligation” on Agencies to Mitigate Impacts of Natural Resource Development

On Tuesday, November 3, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum: “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment” (“Memorandum”). The Memorandum was sent to the...more

Administration Announces New Mitigation Policies

This afternoon, the Administration issued two policies intended to encourage private investment in natural resource conservation and to facilitate application of the mitigation hierarchy—avoiding, minimizing and compensating...more

Pennsylvania Township Moves to Revive an Ordinance Banning Disposal of Wastewater from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities, After...

On October 26, 2015, Grant Township, Pennsylvania, filed a Motion for Reconsideration of Western District of Pennsylvania District Court Magistrate Judge Susan Baxter’s October 14, 2015, ruling invalidating several elements...more

Brave New World: SB 350 Increases CA’s Renewable Energy and Efficiency Goals

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 350, the “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015” on October 7, 2015. SB 350 reflects some of Governor Brown’s bold commitments from his inaugural speech...more

Congressional Challenges Loom for Clean Power Plan Final Rule

Before the end of the year, federal lawmakers are expected to undertake a series of actions to limit, amend, delay or repeal President Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) final rule. The final rule was formally published on Oct....more

Are Regulatory Delays Exacerbating Drought Conditions?

As we enter the fall season, substantial portions of California and the Pacific Northwest are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. While conditions are better in Texas and other nearby states this year,...more

California Water Commission Adopts Regulations For Changing Groundwater Basin Boundaries

On October 21, 2015, the California Water Commission (“CWC”) adopted emergency regulations formulated by the Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) that establish a process by which local agencies may seek groundwater basin...more

Hydrocarbon Exposure Dismissal Affirmed

You might recall previous entries discussing Parr v. Aruba – a suit for personal injuries from oilfield pollution (and a $2.9MM verdict for the plaintiffs). Not all similar suits have the same result....more

Clean Power Plan Formally Published – Full Steam Ahead for Challengers!

The U.S. EPA formally published the final version of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan on Friday, October 23, an action which starts a 60 day period within which to challenge the rule. On the same day, 26 challenges...more

Clean Power Plan: EPA Provides Guidance on Initial Submittals and Extension Process

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards has issued a memorandum providing direction to the states interested in seeking a two-year extension of time in which to develop and...more

Clean Power Plan Published; Appeals Period Begins

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register today, triggering a 60-day appeals period. Petitioners will have until December 22, 2015, to file appeals of the Clean...more

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