Environmental Updates

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IRS Comments on its PTC Start of Construction Guidance

On August 20, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) held a webinar to discuss Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2014-46, which clarified the rules for wind projects to be grandfathered for production tax credit...more

HUD Notice has potential to encourage broad PHA renewable energy rollout

Housing authorities that are seeking alternate energy sources or new funding streams will be particularly interested in HUD’s latest PIH notice. It ushers in a number of programmatic changes in an effort to increase the use...more

You Can’t Estop the Government — Even When It Wants to Be Estopped

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that arguably explains everything from why the Tea Party exists to why otherwise calm and sane executives suddenly lose all their hair. Perhaps most astounding,...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2014

Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs and Fair Competition, et al. v. Donna Norris, et al. - Why it matters: With land use issues and development projects increasingly the subject of local ballot initiatives, it is imperative...more

EPA Refuses to Amend Its Backup Generator Rule: Demand Response Breathes Easier

Last Friday, EPA published notice that it would not be revising its regulations on backup generators in response to three petitions for reconsideration it had received after it promulgated its final rule in January 2013. The...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

Agriculture in Crosshairs as White House Targets Methane Emissions

In March 2014, the Obama administration released a 15-page interagency guidance document that laid out preliminary steps for reducing methane emissions. That document asserts that agricultural operations are the top methane...more

Alberta Energy Regulator to Take Charge of Environmental Impact Assessments for Energy Resource Activities

On March 29, 2014, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) became the entity responsible for issuing approvals pursuant to the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) for energy projects. However, the authority to...more

CPUC Opens Rulemaking to Incorporate Distributed Energy Resources Into Grid Planning Process for California's Investor-Owned...

On August 14, 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (“Order”) to establish policies, procedures, and rules to guide California investor-owned electric utilities...more

DC Development Activities May Be Impacted By Petition to FWS

On July 28, 2014, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). The petition, if granted, could have ramifications for development and other activities in the District of...more

Solar Installer Alert: Commerce Dept. Reduces Preliminary Antidumping Duty Rates for Solar Products from Taiwan

The International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce (“ITA”) on August 18 issued a notice amending its Affirmative Preliminary Determination for antidumping (“AD”) duties against certain crystalline...more

Environmental Impact Analysis Required for Natural Gas Facilities Clarified in Court Decision Denying Residents’ Challenge to...

A New York town’s challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) siting authorization for a natural gas pipeline compressor station was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Minisink...more

HUD Notice Has Potential To Encourage Broad PHA Renewable Energy Rollout

In an effort to support President Obama's July 2013 Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued Notice PIH-2014-18 (HA). The notice offers guidance on federal incentives for...more

Maryland offshore wind sites auctioned

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has sold the rights to lease sites for offshore wind projects in federal waters off Maryland to US Wind Inc. for $8.7 million....more

Recent Amendment Implements Important Changes to the Georgia Brownfield Program

Effective on July 1, House Bill 957 (2014) (the “Amendment”) amended the Georgia Brownfield Act, O.C.G.A. § 12-8-200 et seq. (the Act). The Amendment broadens applicability of the Act, expands the pool of eligible parties...more

Court Allows ESA Claims Involving Oversight of Pesticides to Move Forward

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 11-cv-00293-JCS, plaintiffs alleged that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by failing to...more

Landmark Massachusetts Net-Metering Bill Goes up in Smoke as Water-Downed Compromise Bill Is Agreed to on Last Day of Legislative...

An eleventh-hour compromise by the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee effectively gutted the highly publicized net metering and solar power bill, which, as proposed, was considered by many including the Solar Energy...more

The OSV Regs Cometh

As previously reported here, the offshore industry has been anxiously awaiting new United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations for large offshore supply vessels (OSVs) in the wake of the 2010 Coast Guard Authorization Act...more

Tuolumne Jobs Case

The California Supreme Court has just issued an opinion which may encourage the use of initiatives. At issue in the case was an initiative to adopt a specific plan to streamline approval for construction and operation of a...more

Oil and Gas Developer Challenges an Extreme Waste Disposal Ordinance Enacted by a Pennsylvania Township

Oil and gas developer Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC (“PGE”) recently filed suit against Grant Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, alleging that a waste disposal ordinance enacted by the Township violates the...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 8/18/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - Congress is in recess for the remainder of August, but when it returns for just over two weeks in September, much of the focus will turn to crafting a continuing resolution to keep the...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of State -...more

CHILE – Boom of Nonconventional Renewable Energy Projects in Chile

In recent years and consistently, Chile has experienced a significant increase in the development of power generation projects based on nonconventional renewable energy sources (“NCRE Projects”). In addition to Chile’s...more

EPA Publishes Final 316(b) Rule: Flexibility for Generators Means Litigation By Environmental Groups

Last Friday, EPA finally published its § 316(b) rule in the Federal Register. As we noted in May, the rule is more significant for what it does not do – require closed cycle cooling – than for what it does....more

In Wyoming, a Higher Burden for Chemical Disclosure Exemption?

In Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the burden of justifying the use of trade secrets...more

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