Environmental Administrative Agency Civil Procedure

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FERC Dismisses Electric Cooperatives’ Maryland Community Solar Program PURPA Case as Premature

On November 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order dismissing a petition for declaratory filed by two Maryland electric cooperatives requesting a FERC finding that regulations governing...more

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issues Regulatory Guidance Letter on Approved Jurisdictional Determinations

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has just issued a Regulatory Guidance Letter which provides to property owners (including developers) the right of appeal USACE Approved Jurisdictional...more

Use of long-term climate projections for bearded seal listing not necessarily a bellwether for Endangered Species Act decisions

The Ninth Circuit this week upheld a National Marine Fisheries Service decision to list the Pacific bearded seal as threatened under the Endangered Species Act based primarily on threats from climate change, reversing a...more

EPA Must Consider Regulatory Impacts on Coal/Utility Industry Jobs and Plant Closure

On October 17, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia granted summary judgment to Murray Energy Corporation and its subsidiary coal companies, including UtahAmerican Energy, Inc. The decision...more

Patience and Perseverance Paves the Way for Air-izona

John Quincy Adams is credited with saying: “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” This is certainly apropos for Arizona in light of recent federal actions...more

California Supreme Court Sets New Deferential Standard for Supplemental CEQA Review

In Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo Community College District, No. S214061 (Cal. September 19, 2016), the California Supreme Court rejected the “new project” test for determining whether a changed...more

My Project Changed—Is My EIR Still Valid: A New California Supreme Court Case Provides Guidance

Change is inevitable. Many times between project approval and project construction fluctuations in market conditions, financing terms or other factors mandate project changes. Do the changes require a further or modified...more

A Lumber Mill Biomass CoGen Need Not Consider Other Fuels In Its BACT Analysis. Other Sources Should Be So Lucky.

Ever since EPA began considering how BACT analysis would be applied to greenhouse gas emissions, there has been concern that EPA would use its BACT authority to “redefine the source” – with the particular concern that BACT...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2016

Court of Appeal Holds EIR Inadequately Analyzed Energy Impacts - Ukiah Citizens for Safety First v. City of Ukiah et al. (248 Cal.App.4th 256) (partially published) - Why It Matters: The California Court of Appeal...more

The Social Cost of Carbon Passes Its First Judicial Test

Earlier this week, the 7th Circuit affirmed the Department of Energy’s new energy efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration equipment. This is a big deal in its own right, simply because the numbers are really...more

Recent Environmental and Administrative Law Decisions by Federal and State Courts

The state and federal appellate courts have issued a surprising number of significant rulings in a variety of environmental and administrative law controversies in late July and early August: - On August 8, the U.S....more

A Foolish Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds: So Said Emerson, So Says EPA

On Wednesday, EPA issued a final rule amending its “Regional Consistency Regulations.” The new rule provides that EPA will only follow adverse judicial decisions in the areas of the country where such judicial decisions are...more

Chevron Deference Lives! EPA’s Boiler Rule (Mostly) Survives Review

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit largely upheld EPA’s Boiler MACT rule. The industry challenges were a complete washout. The environmental petitioners won one significant victory and a number of smaller ones....more

No Doubting Thomases Allowed!

Expert appraisers have testified that the proposed development will not adversely affect values of properties adjacent to this new development. Nevertheless, the testimony does not seem right to you. You remember the Great...more

No Deference to State Settlements Under CERCLA? No Problem!

I will confess that I do enjoy being correct. In 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to defer to a state agency determination of the procedural and substantive fairness of a CERCLA consent decree. Various parties...more

Federal Court of Appeal: Government Failed to Adequately Consult with First Nations on Northern Gateway

On June 23, 2016, the Federal Court of Appeal delivered the Northern Gateway Project another procedural setback in its decision on Gitxaala Nation v Canada (2016 FCA 187). In a 2-to-1 split decision, the court overturned the...more

Forecast is Hazy For EPA’s Regional Haze Oversight Authority

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s disapproval of the Texas and Oklahoma regional haze state implementation plans, as well as EPA’s promulgation of its own federal implementation plan. The...more

Three Strikes and Mingo Logan Is Out: The D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA Withdrawal of Approval of Mountaintop Removal Disposal Sites

In 2013, the D.C. Circuit affirmed EPA’s authority to withdrawal approval of mountaintop mining disposal sites, even after the Army Corps has issued a Section 404 permit. In 2014, the District Court rejected Mingo Logan’s...more

A double defeat for EPA on regional haze regulations

On Friday, July 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) a stinging double defeat on its partial disapproval of Texas’ regional haze rule (the...more

Simply the Pest Management Regulatory Agency… and its Duty to Initiate Special Reviews

In Environmental Interest Groups Challenge Registrations of Neonicotinoid Products in Federal Court, we discussed a recent judicial review initiated by the David Suzuki Foundation and others with respect to conditional...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

Wetlands Determinations - Uncertainty for the Clean Water Rule?

On May 31, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. holding that approved judicial determinations as to the presence of wetlands issued by the...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

If You Don’t Like Nukes, Petition Congress: The D.C. Circuit Affirms the NRC’s GEIR On Nuclear Waste Storage

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges by several states and the NRDC to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the impacts of continued on-site storage...more

The Supreme Court Holds that Army Corps’ Jurisdictional Determinations are Final Actions Subject to Judicial Review

On May 31, 2016, in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., the US Supreme Court unanimously held that a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) approved jurisdictional determination (JD) is a final agency action...more

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