Environmental Updates

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"Late Hit" Document Dump CEQA Reform Proposed by SB 1451

At one time or another, in almost every jurisdiction around the state, on the day before an important project land use hearing, an opponent of the project has submitted a lengthy comment letter (often accompanied by...more

CRS Analyzes the Production Tax Credit and Related Policies

With both chambers of Congress considering the extension of the production tax credit (PTC), the Congressional Research Service published a report on April 7, 2014, The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit: In Brief. ...more

'Urban Decay' Still Plagues Calif. Big-Box Retail Plans

The California Environmental Quality Act has long been a key weapon in the ongoing war over development in California. In the last few years, the front line of the war has shifted to big-box retail projects. Originally...more

Enforceable Consent Agreement: EPA Issues Testing Enforceable Consent Order for D4 -- With Some Interesting Twists

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice on April 4, 2014, announcing that it issued a testing consent order that incorporates an enforceable consent agreement (ECA) for octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane...more

Is there a statute of limitation in government Clean Water Act Cases?

A Minnesota federal trial court recently ruled that the government can sue Clean Water Act violators even if the statute of limitations has expired. The decision opens the door for the Eighth Circuit to issue a definitive...more

Calling On The "God Squad"

As reported by Kristi Pihl of the Tri-City Herald earlier this week, the Columbia-Snake Irrigators Association has requested that the Governors of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho proceed through the "God Squad" process under...more

Waters of the United States Proposed Rule

The proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” under the federal Clean Water Act, which originally was announced on March 25, 2014 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and...more

RCRA Developments - What’s Hot, What’s Simmering?

EPA’s efforts to regulate certain types of wastes as hazardous wastes -- some decades in the making -- are starting to see the light of day. Ranging from “very hot” to “simmering,” a number of EPA’s rules under the Resource...more

Expanding the Definition of "Waters of the United States" – EPA's Proposed New Rule

On April 21, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers formally proposed a rule establishing a regulatory definition of the term "waters of the United States." This...more

Northern States Power Company Issues 100 MW Solar RFP

Northern States Power Company (d/b/a Xcel Energy) released its long-awaited solar request for proposals (RFP) today. Although it had earlier suggested the RFP would be for up to 150 MW, today’s RFP seeks up to 100 MW of PV...more

Renewable Energy Update

Renewable Energy Focus - U.S. Senate Committee votes to extend tax breaks for wind farms: Renewable Energy World News - Apr 4 -- U.S. wind farms would keep their treasured tax breaks as part of an $85 billion package...more

Cement Kiln Operators Better Hope that Their Control Technology Works: D.C. Circuit Vacates EPA’s Affirmative Defense Rule

Last week was hazardous air pollutant regulation week at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. First, as we reported, the Court affirmed EPA’s mercury air toxics rule, determining that EPA need not take cost into account in...more

Regional Stormwater Systems: How Should They Be Structured and Financed?

In the world of water and sewage, there are three general types of systems: A "water system" is for drinking water. Raw water is taken from a collection point (for example, a river, a lake or an underground aquifer)...more

Department of Housing and Urban Development Adopts Updated ASTM Standard

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on April 16, 2014 that, effective May 16, 2014, it is adopting the recently updated Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Standard, ASTM E1527-13. HUD...more

Miller Starr Regalia Files Neutral “CEQA-in-Reverse” Case Amici Brief in California Supreme Court on Behalf of League of...

On April 16, 2014, Miller Starr Regalia filed in the California Supreme Court a “neutral” amici brief – one in support of neither party – addressing the important “CEQA-in-reverse” issue presented in California Building...more

The State of Fracking

Fracking is not new to California - it has been used in oil fields for decades - but it has recently become a hot political and legal issue with increasing news reports about alleged environmental damage associated with...more

Trade & Manufacturing Alert - April 2014 (#2)

In This Issue: - Downturn in Chinese Economy May Be Triggering An Export Surge - EPA Issues Guidance On American Iron And Steel Requirement For $2.4 Billion In FY 2014 Clean Water And Drinking Water State...more

EPA Issues Proposed Rule Interpreting Jurisdictional Reach of Clean Water Act: Deadline for Comments on the Proposed Rule is July...

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) formally issued a Proposed Rule today designed to clarify their regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The Proposed Rule will...more

EPA’s Proposed Rule for New Power Plants Could Trigger Excessive Title V Permit Fees

Proposed Greenhouse Gas Performance Standards for new power plants will have broader implications for Clean Air Act operating permit fees. The public comment period will soon close on May 9, 2014 for the Environmental...more

China Update

In This Issue: - Quote of the Week - U.S.-China Relations - China News - Energy & Environment - Trade - Excerpt from Quote of the Week: “No bilateral relationship in the 21st century is likely...more

Energy & Environment Update

In This Issue: - Energy & Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Defense - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of Transportation - Department of...more

British Columbia’s Supreme Court Considers the Duty to Consult in the Context of an Environmental Review Process

On April 3, 2014 the British Columbia Supreme Court released its decision in Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2014 BCSC 568. The case concerned an application for judicial...more

New Clean Air Act Decision Could Spell Trouble for Defendants in Citizen Suits

On April 18, 2014, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency et al., No. 10-1371 (Apr. 18, 2014), a case challenging new EPA emissions standards that govern...more

EPA And Corps Of Engineers Release Proposed Rule On Scope Of Waters Covered Under Clean Water Act That Would Significantly Expand...

On April 21, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly published a proposed rule to define those waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United...more

Department of Energy Draft Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Loan Guarantee Solicitation Alert

On April 16, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) issued a draft loan guarantee solicitation for renewable energy and efficient energy projects and facilities. The draft solicitation is...more

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