Environmental Updates

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Level of Detail Adequate in High Speed Rail Authority’s Program EIR for Central Valley to Bay Area Rail Corridor

Town of Atherton v. California High-Speed Rail Authority (7/24/14, C070877) - The appellate court upheld the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Program EIR for the Central Valley to Bay Area portion of the route,...more

Real Estate and Land Use - Sep 2014

Evidence of Economic Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Explained (SPRAWLDEF v. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission) - Why it matters: In upholding the approval of a 260-acre expansion to the...more

The Canadian LNG Projects Revolution

Canada’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) market is at something of a turning point. With expanding shale reserves, an amenable regulatory environment and a general comfort with foreign investment in its oil and gas industry,...more

CT Law of the Land

SC19090, SC19091 - FairwindCT, Inc. v. Connecticut Siting Council - This decision upheld the Siting Council’s authorization to a Pullman & Comley client to install wind turbine electrical generation facilities in...more

Historic Calif. Groundwater Bills are Dry on Specifics

On Aug. 29, 2014, the California Legislature cast the final votes necessary to move three companion groundwater management bills to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. If signed by Gov. Brown, the bills will establish the Sustainable...more

Draft DTSC Work Plan Signals Expansion of California Green Chemistry Initiative

As part of its Safer Consumer Products Regulation (SCPR) under California’s Green Chemistry Initiative, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on September 13, 2014 issued its Draft Priority Product Three-Year Work...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

This monthly publication provides information on compliance deadlines, regulatory developments, and other developments in federal, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire environmental and land use laws. NEW REGULATORY...more

‘Chemical (Over)reaction’?: States Push for Tighter Regulation of Consumer Products

The chemical wars are in full swing. And for consumer products and chemicals manufacturers, victory on the regulatory front is by no means a foregone conclusion. Progressive legislators in states such as California,...more

Aurora Energy Decision Deems Discharges Prohibited, Leaves Open Question of Permit Shield Applicability

On September 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services, LLC, holding that the Clean Water Act General Permit for...more

For Better or Worse: California Solicits Input on Further Revisions to Its Proposition 65 Regulations

Earlier this year, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), which is charged with implementation of the State's controversial Proposition 65 law, released a “pre-regulatory” proposal to revise...more

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Considers State Perspectives on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

On Tuesday, September 9, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power discussed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule at a hearing titled “State Perspectives: Questions...more

New generation in 2014 mostly gas, solar, wind

Most new power plants placed in service in the first half of 2014 are powered by natural gas, with new solar and wind capacity coming in second and third, respectively, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration....more

EPA Releases Clean Water Act Final 2012 And Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plans

On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Final 2012 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Final 2012 Plan) and the Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Preliminary 2014...more

Minnesota Community Solar Garden Program Approved, Set to Open

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission today issued its long-awaited Order approving (with modifications) Xcel Energy’s Community Solar Garden (CSG) Program - Solar Rewards*Community. The Order starts the clock for the...more

Environmental and Energy: NYSDEC Proposes Revisions to Petroleum Bulk Storage, Used Oil and Chemical Bulk Storage Regulations...

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the availability of draft revisions to the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS), Chemical Bulk Storage (CBS), and Used Oil regulations for public...more

Georgia Plant Listed and 732 Acres Designated

On September 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published notice of its final rule listing the Georgia rockcress (Arabis georgiana) as a threatened plant species under the Endangered Species Act. On the...more

Spray Drift and Volatilization: Issues to Navigate Carefully as EPA Develops Registration Review Decisions

Spray drift and volatilization issues increasingly are significant issues in pesticide product risk assessments. Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued drafts of key guidance documents, which...more

ML Strategies Energy & Environment Update: Week of 9/15/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - Congress is in Washington this week for an intense few days before recessing until after the November elections. The House will vote September 17 on the continuing resolution (H.J....more

California Governor Signs Historic Groundwater Legislation

Yesterday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bills 1168 and 1319 (both Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) and Assembly Bill 1739 (Dickinson, D-Sacramento), which together establish the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The Act...more

Seller Beware: California Announces Draft Plan for New Consumer Product Categories Under Its Green Chemistry Initiative

California’s toxics agency, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), has released a draft three-year work plan identifying seven consumer product categories that may be the focus of the state’s Green Chemistry...more

EPA Proposes to Eliminate Affirmative Defenses for Many Clean Air Act Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule on September 5, 2014 that would prevent states from including affirmative defenses in their Clean Air Act state implementation plans (SIPs) for emissions...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2014 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Environmental Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Environmental Protection Agency - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -...more

Environmental Review Required for Subdivision Map Approvals

On September 9, the Third District Court of Appeal held that tentative subdivision map approvals "always have at least the potential to cause" a direct or indirect physical change in the environment and thus are categorically...more

Supreme Court Roundup: Recent Environmental Law Rulings and Pending Cases

Scaling back considerably from the October 2012 Term, the United States Supreme Court issued only a few rulings affecting environmental law during the October 2013 Term. With significant pronouncements regarding EPA’s Clean...more

More Than (You Thought) You Ever Wanted To Know About Waters Of The United States

Over the past few months, I worked with a number of colleagues from the American College of Environmental Lawyers to provide the Environmental Council of the States with a balanced review of the history and background of how...more

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