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President Obama Signs PIPES Act of 2016, Reauthorizing PHMSA and Introducing New Mandates for Oil and Gas Pipeline Programs

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed a bill reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) oil and gas pipeline programs through 2019. Obama’s final stamp on the Protecting our...more

Whitestone hydrokinetic license surrendered

Despite efforts to offer a streamlined regulatory path for some demonstration hydropower projects, earlier this year the holder of a hydrokinetic pilot project license for a project proposed for the Tanana River in Alaska...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Need to Manage Community Relationships

Imagine this scenario: A company operates a coal ash landfill. Local citizens protest and organize an advocacy group against it and create a Facebook page. The company responds by suing the individual members of the group for...more

Edgartown's Muskeget tidal project faces questions

A municipal tidal power project proposed for the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard faces federal deadlines if its licensing process is to continue. The Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy Project, proposed by the Town of...more

BOEM Call for Hawaii offshore wind interest

U.S. ocean energy managers have asked for information to evaluate industry interest in leasing sites offshore Hawaii for commercial offshore wind development. Under U.S. law, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - PG&E to close Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear power plant - Los Angeles Times - Jun 21 - Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) announced on Tuesday that it plans to close...more

FERC says Nicatous microhydro doesn't need license

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed by a remote Maine sporting camp does not require licensing under the Federal Power Act. The Nicatous case illustrates one expedited regulatory...more

Canada NEB starts Energy East pipeline review

Canada's National Energy Board has ruled that the applicationsare complete for the Energy East Pipeline Project and a related gas project. This determination starts the NEB's review process, under which the Board must issue...more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

Sustainable Development Update - June 2016 #4

Report shows industrial sector prioritizes sustainability in design and operations - Concrete Products - Jun 15 A new USGBC report highlights the collaborative efforts across the manufacturing sector to design and...more

US FWS Releases Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan

On April 15, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued its Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) proposing a regional approach to...more

BLM Has No Authority To Regulate Fracking, At Least For Now

Yesterday, Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming held that the Bureau of Land Management did not have authority to regulate the environmental impacts of fracking. I think Judge Skavdahl probably got it right, but I...more

Fourth District Holds Wal-Mart Victorville Project EIR Violates CEQA; Project Approval Findings Violate Map Act; And Project Is...

In a decision filed May 25, and belatedly ordered published June 15, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed and reversed in part a judgment of the San Bernardino County Superior Court. It affirmed the judgment to...more

Sustainable Development Update - June 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - A suburban experiment aims for free energy - New York Times - Jun 3 - At first glance, Anthony and Vanessa Genau’s home in a subdivision beneath the San Gabriel Mountains is like...more

NY offshore wind leasing advances

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is moving closer to leasing ocean sites offshore New York for commercial offshore wind development. On June 2, 2016, the Department of the Interior and BOEM announced the...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

Circuit Courts Tackle Question of Agency Liability under the MBTA for Permitting of Wind Energy Facilities

On June 7, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected plaintiffs’ claim, among others, that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by granting a...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Appellate court temporarily blocks Delta island sale - Sacramento Bee - Jun 7 - The California Third District Court of Appeal on Tuesday granted a temporary stay blocking...more

Renewable Energy Update - June 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - Ninth Circuit upholds wind farm approval - Courthouse News Service - Jun 7 - Federal regulators adequately addressed whether a proposed wind turbine project near San Diego would...more

Updated Status of Oil-and Gas-Related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

June 3, 2016 was the final deadline for oil- and gas-related bills introduced in the 2015-2016 legislative session to move through their house of origin. Below is a summary of those bills, many of which relate to natural gas...more

Sustainable Development Update - June 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - There's a way to invest in a cleaner environment, and the market is booming - Business Insider - Jun 6 - Summer is coming, and green bonds are blooming. Issuers of such bonds...more

US Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Judgment Upholding Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act,...

On June 6, 2016, in Backcountry Against Dumps et al. v. Jewell et al., the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of California upholding federal...more

Southern California Environmental Update #1

This is the first update on environmental regulatory and legal developments in Los Angeles and adjacent counties, as well as the Southern San Joaquin l Valley. Let us know what you think. Your comments on this Update will...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - U.S. Supreme Court allows pre-permit challenges to approved jurisdictional determinations - Allen Matkins - May 31 - In a major new legal development for the Clean Water Act's...more

Sustainable Development Update - June 2016

Sustainable Development Focus - Solar microgrid to ‘green’ Port of Los Angeles - Microgrid Knowledge - May 30 - The Port of Los Angeles, North America’s largest port, plans to install a $26.6 million solar...more

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