Environmental Energy & Utilities Construction

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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California Governor Signs Legislation Establishing Significant New Energy Goals

Law Sets Standards Aimed at Addressing Climate Change - Today, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 350 into law, setting two ambitious climate change-related goals: a 50 percent increase in building energy efficiency, and a...more

Federal Agencies Announce Steps to Expedite Reviews of Infrastructure Projects

On September 22, the Administration announced two new policies that will facilitate a more transparent and efficient permitting and review process for complex infrastructure projects. First, federal agencies announced...more

Court Limits Migratory Bird Treaty Act Applicability to Incidental Take

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in United States v. CITGO that a “taking” subject to prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not include the...more

Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing Vacated by Federal Court - What It Means for Energy Development

Last week, in a decision that surprised many, a federal court in Texas overturned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision last year to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as “threatened” under the federal...more

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

SHE Matters - Summer 2015

In This Issue: - Changes to Comah Regulations - Make Sure You Are Prepared - Strengthening of Enforcement Powers Under the Environmental Permitting Regine and Tackling Waste Crime - Will You Be Affected? - The...more

Public-Private Partnerships Offer Alternative Model for Water Infrastructure Projects

In February 2012, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts completed a study of the state’s drinking, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs that identified a funding gap of at least $39 billion over the next 20 years. The...more

IRS Confirms that Flip Partnership Guidelines Do Not Apply to Solar Projects

The IRS has advised that the flip partnership guidelines under Rev. Proc. 2007-65, 2007-2 C.B. 967, do not apply to solar facilities or other projects claiming the Section 48 investment tax credit (ITC). The statement, made...more

DTE Energy Issues 5-50 MW RFP

DTE Energy (DTE) announced recently that it has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the construction of a 5-50 MW solar generating facility. While DTE is seeking proposals for projects in the city of Detroit as well...more

Renewable Energy Update - June 2015 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Obama commits $4 billion to form clean energy investment clearinghouse: The Guardian - Jun 16: With $4 billion and a new government office, the White House has unveiled its latest clean energy...more

Green Certification: obtaining green certification for existing buildings in VA

On June 19, 2014, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released its preliminary results for the 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). According to the CBECS, the United States currently has 87...more

Energy Efficient Buildings: It’s the Law (and a Good Idea Too)

Energy efficiency and sustainable building development and management are no longer viewed as a novel but impractical concept, or something only environmentalists long for. Improving existing buildings and constructing new...more

PHMSA Steps Up Review of Pipeline Construction

Enforcement Focus on 60-Day Notification Requirement - The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has stepped up enforcement efforts concerning pipeline and LNG terminal construction....more

Bill to Streamline Federal Permitting for Major Energy and Infrastructure Projects Advances in the US Senate

On May 6, 2015, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 12-1 in favor of a bill designed to streamline the Federal permitting process for major energy and infrastructure projects. The bill,...more

Tax Day Update: 2015 Inflation Adjustments and Prices for Energy Credits Released by IRS

Just in time for tax day – but 14 days behind the Congressional deadline – the IRS released the statutorily required calculations to determine the value of the Section 45 Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) credit amount in 2015,...more

Energy Newsletter - April 2015

In This Issue: - Global Solar Energy – A Bright Future - Shared (Common) Facilities in LNG Projects - Hydropower Concessions – Long Awaited Reform - FERC's Order No. 807 Addresses Open Access And...more

New Mandate: If you like your water heater you can keep it; but replacing it will be expensive.

Effective April 16, 2015, there will be significant changes to water heater energy factor requirements as the result of updates to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (“NAECA”). The new requirements call for higher...more

Texas small hydro project loses exemption

What happens to a proposed hydroelectric project takes longer than anticipated to be built, due to difficulties with project financing and severe flooding? As the developer of a proposed project in Texas recently found out,...more

IRS Issues Additional Guidance on Beginning of Construction Rules for Renewable Projects

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-25 (Notice) on March 11, 2015, to provide further guidance on meeting the beginning of construction requirements for wind and other qualified facilities (biomass,...more

Executive Order Mandates Clean Energy Consumption at Federal Buildings

Yesterday, President Obama released an Executive Order entitled “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.” In short, the order mandates that heads of agency take action to promote energy conservation and...more

Are You Continuing Construction? IRS Issues Fourth Renewable Energy Tax Credit Beginning of Construction Notice

On March 11, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-25, which provides further guidance to assist renewable energy facility developers and investors in evaluating whether such facilities satisfied the...more

Energy and Infrastructure Companies Aren’t Waiting for the FAA’s New Drone Rules

With a little over one month to go in the comment period on the FAA’s proposed rules for the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and facing the prospect of at least another year before those rules...more

IRS Issues Notice 2015-25 Extending Safe Harbor for Continuous Construction in Order to Take Advantage of Renewable Energy Tax...

Thursday, the IRS issued Notice 2015-25, which updates the guidance in Notices 2013-29, 2013-60, and 2014-46. These Notices provide that a taxpayer can show that it has “begun construction” of its qualified renewable energy...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: California renewable energy zone plan gets revamp after criticism: Reuters - Mar 10: An ambitious plan to put California's renewable energy projects in areas where the environment will...more

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