Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use Environmental

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California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Metropolitan Water District completes $175-million purchase of Delta islands - Los Angeles Times - Jul 18 - Metropolitan Water District (MWD) this Monday completed the...more

US FWS Announces Record of Decision Streamlining Wind Energy Permitting for the Upper Great Plains

On July 7, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). This is the final step in a process...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, July 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

How Will Brexit Impact Environmental and Energy Law?

Following the recent UK referendum result, attention is now turning to the legal implications for specific policy areas. While the overwhelming majority of the UK’s environmental legislation is derived from EU...more

Sustainable Development Update - July 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - Net-zero energy Brock Environmental Center in Virginia turns rainwater into drinking water - Inhabitat - Jul 14 - A new building in Virginia Beach is raising the bar for...more

Regulated Parties – 2, Regulators – 0

The United States Supreme Court has handed regulated parties their second win in four years concerning when they can take EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to court over wetlands permitting issues. In 2012, the...more

Corps of Engineers Issues Proposal on Nationwide Permits

In early June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) proposed to reissue its nationwide permits (“NWPs”) for certain wetland impacts. The proposed changes present some interesting issues and new opportunities for...more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

A Coal Plant Shutdown and the Undoing of a Wind Energy Bottleneck

Everyone knows the transmission bottleneck is the boot on the neck of wind energy. The Plains States have megawatts of wind energy. Getting it to the places with megawatts of demand, like Oregon and Washington, aye, there’s...more

Maine DEP Developing New Rule For Wind Power Projects

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has announced that it is developing a new Site Law rule that will address certain development standards for wind projects. The standards that will be addressed by the new rule...more

New Legislation in North Carolina Impacts the Agribusiness Industry

In the recently ended session in the General Assembly, Senate Bill 770 was enacted. This bill is entitled “An Act To Provide Further Regulatory Relief To The Agricultural Community.”...more

Alta, snowmaking pipes and conduit hydro power

Federal energy regulators have issued Alta Ski Area a written determination that its proposed micro-hydropower project will not be required to be licensed under the Federal Power Act. If developed, Alta's project would be...more

Maine tidal project preliminary permit issued

A tidal energy developer has been granted a preliminary permit to study a proposed project in Western Passage, near the city of Eastport, Maine. Under the Federal Power Act, most grid-connected tidal power projects...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - South Coast AQMD plan would fight smog mainly through incentives, not rules - Los Angeles Times - Jun 30 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District's draft Air Quality...more

Bipartisan ESA Bill Proposes Funding for State Programs

In a year that has already seen its fair share of attempts to reform the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), another proposal has made its way into the House of Representatives. Representatives Don Young (R-Alaska) and Debbie...more

Lack of Court Direction Requires Developers and Lenders to Estimate Their Own Significance Thresholds for GHG Emissions Past 2020

This June, the California Supreme Court heard the last set of oral arguments before breaking for the summer. Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments, 231 Cal.App.4th 1056 (2014)...more

Court Rules BLM Had No Authority To Regulate Fracking On Federal and Native American Lands

In March 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued regulations applying to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. 80 Fed. Reg. 16,128–16,222 (Mar. 26, 2015) (the “Fracking Rule”). The states of Wyoming,...more

Wyoming Federal Court Strikes Down BLM Fracking Rule

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in State of Wyoming et al v. U.S. Department if Interior et al. struck down Bureau of Land Management regulations applying to hydraulic fracking on federal and Indian lands. He...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Judge invalidates long-fought Delta management plan Sacramento Bee - Jun 24 - In a decision that could delay or complicate Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two huge...more

Sustainable Development Update - June 30, 2016 | Newsletters

Sustainable Development Focus - Planned investment in energy efficiency hits all-time high - Facility Executive - Jun 23 - Interest and investment in energy efficiency are at an all-time high, according to the...more

Administration Signals Intent to Challenge Judicial Decision That Struck Down Fracking Rule as Unlawful

On June 24, the Obama Administration filed its notice of appeal to challenge last week’s federal court decision to strike down the newest regulation over hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands by the Bureau of Land...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s NEPA Analysis in Sabine Pass and Freeport LNG Projects

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected two related challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental review of the Sabine Pass LNG and Freeport LNG...more

Hydro license transfers and fitness

U.S. hydropower regulators have approved the transfer of the license for an Idaho hydroelectric process, despite an argument that the transferee is not fit to operate the project. At issue is the Smith Creek Project, No....more

Comments on New Rules for Bald and Golden Eagle Protection due July 5, 2016

On May 6 of this year, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a proposed rule revising the permitting program under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (the Act). Public comments on the rule are due...more

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

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