Environmental Energy & Utilities

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From Second and State: Capitol Wrap – Week of October 2014

As expected, this week blew through the Columbus Day holiday and into a flurry of legislative activity. Dozens of bills went back and forth between the chambers this week, and many have already landed on the governor’s desk....more

EPA Extends Comment Period on Significant Proposed Rule Under the Clean Water Act

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced that it has extended the comment period on a proposed rule that has the potential to significantly expand the authority of the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of...more

New UK Mandatory Energy Assessment Scheme

On 17 July 2014, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (“ESOS”) came into effect, which implements various elements of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive 2012. ESOS requires companies over a minimum size threshold and some...more

PACE Yourself

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans allow property owners to finance clean energy improvements to their properties generally secured by property liens senior to mortgages through tax assessments. Moody’s recently...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Army Corps Drops Regional Permit - The Army Corps has announced that it has abandoned the idea of establishing a regional general permit for the New England states. The proposal would have replaced the individual...more

American Pipe Tolling Inapplicable In Texas Negligent Misstatement Case

The Southern District of Texas found that negligent misstatement claims filed more than two years after the last alleged misstatement were time-barred and that the applicable statute of limitations was not tolled under...more

MARAD Issues Proposed Policy on Oil and Gas Exports from Offshore Facilities

On Oct. 16, 2014, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments on proposed policies regarding the review and processing of applications for the export of oil and natural...more

Outstanding Design Flaws in California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

On January 1, 2013, California embarked on a grand experiment with the launch of the world’s most complex cap-and-trade program. Under this program, companies operating in California, such as food processors, power producers...more

Solar bonds: SolarCity launches first US public debt offering

Could publicly offered solar bonds play a significant role in financing solar photovoltaic projects? Solar energy company SolarCity Corporation appears to think so, as this morning it filed a registration statement...more

CARB’s Invalidation of Offset Credits Highlights Importance of Risk Allocation

On October 8, 2014, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a preliminary determination invalidating more than 230,000 offset credits on grounds that an Arkansas-based chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) incinerator was not...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 10/14

EPA Schedules SAP Meeting On Endocrine Activity: On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has scheduled a four-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide...more

EPA Comments Suggest Emphasis on Creativity and Internalizing Externalities in Climate Strategy

The American Bar Association's Section of Energy, Environment and Resources held its Fall Conference last week. Noteworthy from a climate perspective were the keynote address by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator...more

Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair...more

B.C. Supreme Court Upholds Recurring Short-Term Water Use Approvals

The B.C. Supreme Court has recently clarified the interpretation of section 8 of the B.C. Water Act. Section 8 relates to the power of the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) to grant approvals to oil and gas companies for the...more

UCS Says to Add More Renewables to the Clean Power Plan; If It’s Better, Does that Make It Best?

The Union of Concerned Scientists today announced release of a report which attempts to document that the renewable energy “building block” in EPA’s Clean Power Plan is not sufficiently aggressive. The report argues that,...more

The Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2014 - policy uncertainty sees Australia slipping

The recently released Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2014 suggests that despite its strength in innovation, Australia is at risk of being left behind as much of the rest of the world forges ahead with investment in...more

Suit by Denton, Texas, Royalty Interest Owners Could be Harbinger of More Suits If Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Passes

Ahead of the November 4th vote that could make it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, the City of Denton has been sued by a group of royalty interest owners claiming that the city’s current temporary ban...more

UK Electricity Market Reform

On 16 October 2014, the first CfD allocation round commences, with the first CfDs being signed as early as January 2015, subject to any mid-allocation round appeals. The attached “Contracts for Difference – On the Launchpad”,...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: October 2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - With a little over three weeks to go before the elections, and just a bit more than that until the next round of international climate negotiations, the United States is trying to determine...more

Energy & Environment Update - October 2014 #2

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

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Obama to designate portion of San Gabriel Mountains a national monument: Los Angeles Times - Oct 8: President Obama plans to announce Friday that he will set aside roughly half of the...more

Gov. Cuomo Signs Law Extending Real Property Tax Abatement for Solar Power Installation

Governor Cuomo has signed into law a bill that extends real property tax breaks for installing electricity-generating solar panels on New York City buildings effective September 23, 2014. ...more

In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the...

On September 4, 2014, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued findings of fact and conclusions of law for the trial of the MDL of the Gulf Oil Spill, which included findings that the oil spill was the result of BP Exploration...more

Kansas Appellate Court Disallows Strict Liability Claims for Refinery’s Alleged Discharge of Pollutants

In City of Neodesha v. BP Corporation North America, Inc., 2014 WL 4116576, which involved BP’s successful defense of claims relating discharges from its refinery, the Court of Appeals of Kansas affirmed the denial of the...more

Electricity Market Reform update: Contracts for Difference allocation procedure

In the past year a series of government publications and consultations have given greater clarity to the government’s thinking as to how the new Contracts for Difference (CfD) regime will work. Guidance has also been issued...more

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