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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

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

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

White House Announces Plan to Regulate Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector

On January 14, the Obama administration announced plans to reduce methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas operations as part of the president’s strategy to address climate change. The plan does not, however,...more

Big Developments for Oil and Well Producers Utilizing Well Stimulation Treatments

Today saw two significant developments for oil and gas operators utilizing well stimulation treatments in California. Pursuant to SB 4, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources...more

EPA Announces Plan for Rulemaking to Reduce Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The EPA’s goal is to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45% from 2012...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Ninth Circuit Delta Smelt Decision

On Monday, January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied two petitions seeking review of a Ninth Circuit decision upholding limits on water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect the endangered Delta...more

California Energy Legislation Year in Review 2014

INTRODUCTION - In his January 2015 inaugural address, California Governor Brown called for an ambitious expansion of the State’s renewable energy goals to 50% by 2030, a policy direction that may drive the State’s...more

Environmental Groups Dust Off NEPA and CEQA in Attempt to Halt Hydraulic Fracturing and Well Acidization

Municipal bans and other legislative measures to halt hydraulic fracturing and related well stimulation techniques have yielded mixed results across the country. In an attempt to halt hydraulic fracturing and acid well...more

“Final” May Be a Misnomer for California’s Final Fracking Regulations

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources recently issued a “final” set of rules for regulating hydraulic fracturing in California that replace the interim rules that have been...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Cow Manure Claims

In its recent decision in Wilson Mut. Ins. Co. v. Falk, 2014 WI 136, the Wisconsin Supreme Court had occasion had occasion to consider whether cow manure generated at a dairy farm, and which migrates from the insured’s...more

Unanimous Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court rules that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Environmental Rights Amendment in...

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled on January 7, 2015 that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Environmental Rights Amendment in Robinson Township, which was backed by only three justices, is nonbinding. The...more

Transportation Conformity Form Over Substance

A few determined environmental advocates have attempted for years to use the Clean Air Act’s strict transportation conformity rules to tie up planned highway improvements. For the most part, courts have rebuffed those...more

SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Permanent Regulations Finalized

On December 30, 2014, the California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) approved the Final Permanent Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations (“Permanent Regulations”). The regulations go into effect on July 1, 2015, and the...more

Louisiana Denies Drilling-Related Permit in Scenic Waterway

Louisiana has denied a permit to an energy company seeking to use water from a state-designated scenic river for its drilling operations. The decision represents the first time in Louisiana’s history that a permit to draw...more

San Diego MPO's Analysis Of RTP's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rejected

In a decision with implications for all transportation projects in California, the California Court of Appeal held that the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation projects in a metropolitan transportation...more

AB 1739; SB 1168, 1319: Groundwater Management

With the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014, California is on the verge of a seismic shift in how the state manages and regulates extraction of groundwater. Until now, the right to extract and use...more

EPA to Publish Rule Rescinding Greenhouse Gas Permits and Will Not Enforce Existing Permits

On December 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two memos – Next Steps for Addressing EPA-Issued Step 2 Prevention of Significant Deterioration Greenhouse Gas Permits and Associated Requirements and No...more

Does the Public Trust Doctrine Apply to Groundwater? The California Supreme Court May Decide

The California Supreme Court is currently considering a petition that raises an important and novel issue of California water law: whether the public trust doctrine applies to groundwater. The public trust doctrine holds that...more

Winter Draws Mixed Opinions Regarding Fracking

Fracking received much attention and debate in the fourth quarter. Fracking is the process of injecting large amounts of water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressures in order to release oil and natural gas into...more

Ninth Circuit Panel Holds NMFS Biological Opinion regarding California Water Projects Passes Legal Muster

As numerous news outlets reported, see L.A. Times and S.F. Chronicle, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision reversing a lower court and affirming a biological opinion and reasonable and...more

Frackers v. Anti’s – Scoring update

The box scores after election day showed frackers 4, anti’s 4. Courtesy of a gubernatorial grand-slam by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, hydraulic fracturing is now banned throughout the entire state of New York....more

CEQ Issues Draft Guidance on Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The guidance will significantly affect infrastructure projects located on federal land and federal permitting of major energy projects. On December 18, the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued...more

New York Environmental Commissioner Will Issue an Order Early Next Year Banning “Fracking,” Under a Moratorium Since 2008

In a much-anticipated report, the New York State Department of Health has concluded that high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) should be banned statewide. In a nutshell, the Department found that there was insufficient...more

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