Environmental Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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China's “RoHS 2” Regulation: What Manufacturers Must Know

After years of deliberation and industry anticipation, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) promulgated the “RoHS 2” regulation on January 21, 2016, with the formal (translated) title “Management...more

Energy Bill the Focus of Congressional Debate

Congress has spent a significant chunk of the new year focused on a bipartisan energy bill, which, if passed, would be the first broad bipartisan energy package in nearly ten years. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015...more

ENERGY STAR Disqualifications on the Rise: How to Make Sure Your Product Isn’t Next

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) appears to have significantly increased its enforcement of the ENERGY STAR Program’s conformity verification rules over the past year. During 2015, under the broad category of...more

Latin American Environmental Regulatory Tracker

This month’s tracker reflects key initiatives from December 15, 2015 – January 15, 2016. Happy New Year! Although activity typically slows down over the holidays, the New Year is off to a fast start, signaling what will...more

Avoiding A Water Crisis Similar to That of Flint Will Require Both Technical and Practical Effort

The problems with the quality of drinking water in Flint, Michigan, are not necessarily an isolated collection of failures. From a technical standpoint, the potential for lead leaching into drinking water systems in many...more

What Does COP-21 Mean for Business?

6 Answers From Around the Globe - The historic COP-21 Paris Agreement on climate change is the first major development in the climate area at the international level since adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in...more

Financial Assurance Requirements are on the Horizon for Hard Rock Miners

On January 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to finalize the long-awaited “financial assurance” regulations under section 108(b) of...more

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to...more

Energy & Environment Update - January 2016 #3

Energy and Climate Debate - The winter weather postponed much congressional and Administrative action on energy, environment, and other issues this week, but the Senate has now officially begun floor debate on the first...more

Prognosticating the Ozone Standard Litigation: EPA to Win, Environmental Petitioners to Place, Murray Energy to Show

Last week, the “Public Health and Environmental Petitioners” challenging EPA’s decision not to reduce the ozone standard below 0.070 ppm filed their “Non-Binding Statement of Issues.” My crystal ball still tells me that the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - States ask Supreme Court to block Obama carbon emissions plan - Reuters - Jan 26 - A group of states led by West Virginia and Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay...more

Kamala Harris Puts Exxon Under Her Microscope: California AG Reportedly Has Launched Review of Oil Giant’s Statements On Climate...

Students of history know that fighting a two front war is a hazard to be avoided. According to the L.A. Times, however, that is precisely the dilemma that now faces Exxon Mobil: dual investigations from attorneys general on...more

Renewable Energy Update - January 2016 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - The Verdict Is In: CPUC Preserves Net Metering In California - Solar Industry - Jan 28 In a 3-2 vote this morning, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its long-awaited...more

AIG Bows Out of the Pollution Legal Liability Market

On January 26, 2016, insurance giant AIG announced a major restructuring designed to make it a “more profitable and focused insurer.” Apparently as a result of these efforts to streamline and slim down, AIG has begun...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: A Legislative Outlook

Over the next eight weeks, we will provide a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector in a series of alerts. In this series, attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from...more

RGGI states comment on Clean Power Plan

The nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have submitted joint comments to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in connection with its Clean...more

The Beat Goes On: Pennsylvania Takes Aim at Reducing Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Pennsylvania is currently a hotbed of regulatory initiatives focused on the oil and gas industry. The Environmental Quality Board, for example, will decide on February 3 whether to adopt the Department of Environmental...more

The Ongoing Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. ...more

NERC suggests Clean Power Plan reliability considerations

The electric reliability organization for North America has issued an assessment of reliability considerations it thinks state electricity and environmental regulators should take into account in crafting state plans to...more

Film Highlights National Security Need for Renewable Energy

When one thinks of renewable energy and the growing movement to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, the US military is not, perhaps, the first thing that comes to mind. In reality, however, the military is tied inextricably to...more

Washington State Court of Appeals Holds Vested Permit Applications Are Not Subject to New Municipal Stormwater Requirements

The development community won a victory in Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals in a ruling that excludes pending permit applications from the new low-impact development stormwater regulations that large...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final 4(d) Rule for Northern Long-Eared Bat Under Endangered Species Act

In April 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published a final decision to list the northern long-eared bat as threatened and, rather than publishing a final 4(d) rule, opted to publish an interim 4(d) rule...more

Environmental Policy Quarterly

Welcome to the Winter 2016 edition of Environmental Policy Quarterly, published jointly by the Environmental, Land and Natural Resources Practice Group and the Public Policy and Law Practice Group of K&L Gates. This...more

Good Law Catches Up With Good Policy: The Supreme Court Upholds FERC’s Demand Response Order

The Supreme Court today affirmed FERC’s Order No. 745, which required that demand response resources be treated the same as generation resources when participating in wholesale electricity markets. I’m feeling vindicated,...more

New California Laws: AB 1390 and SB 226: More Groundwater

Last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two bills designed to make groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. Companion bills Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226 are intended to streamline...more

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