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Environmental Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.

Examination of Vegetation Management Requirements for Electricity Assets Located on Federal Lands: September 19th U.S. Senate...

The United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing titled - To Examine Vegetation Management Requirements for Electricity Assets Located on Federal Lands - The hearing was also scheduled...more

A Legal and Commercial Checklist for Bankable Solar EPC Contracts: A Developer’s Guide

Large-scale solar development is big business, and solar EPC Contracts are big business by association. In Q2 2017, the U.S. solar market installed 2,387 MWdc, an 8% increase year-over-year, and the largest second quarter...more

Municipalities' Water Withdrawal: NEPA/National Forest Management Act Challenge to U.S. Forest Service Authorization

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (“Court”) addressed in an October 23rd opinion Plaintiffs-Appellants Central Oregon LandWatch and WaterWatch of Oregon (collectively “Plaintiffs”) challenge to the United...more

Stormwater Enforcement: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Sanford, North Carolina Foundry Owner Enter into Consent...

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Hallman Foundry, LLC and A. Stucki Company (collectively “Hallman”) entered into a September 5th Consent Agreement (“CA”) addressing alleged violations of a Clean...more

Recent Federal Actions to Streamline the NEPA Process

by Stoel Rives LLP on

There has been a string of actions in the past few weeks addressing the federal government’s policy goal of streamlining the NEPA review process. Although a number of actions have been taken, it presently boils down to this:...more

The Drumbeat Continues: Another Court Rejects an FEIR For Not Properly Considering Climate Change

Last week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a District Court decision approving a decision by the Bureau of Land Management to approve new leases on mines that account for 20% of U.S. coal production. ...more

Currents - Energy Industry Insights - September 2017#2

- U.S. High Court Asked to Review WV Justice's Role in Gas Royalties Case - "The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to review West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker's participation in a high-stakes natural gas...more

NY Seizes on Recent D.C. Circuit Decision to Deny Pipeline Permits

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s recent decision in Sierra Club v. FERC (Southeast Market Pipelines Project), No. 16-1329 (D.C. Cir. 2017), has already had an impact on the natural gas industry and resulted in...more

Wastewater Enforcement: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Garland County School Districts Enter into Consent...

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) and Jessieville School District and Fountain Lake School District (collectively, “District”) entered into an August 30th Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”)...more

Interstate Pipeline Project: Federal Appellate Court Addresses Challenge to State Water Quality Certification

The United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit (“Court”) addressed a challenge to a permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) related to the proposed construction of an...more

Coal Ash/Preemption: Federal Appellate Court Addresses Challenge to Municipal Regulation

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (“Court”) addressed whether two Pureto Rican municipalities could prohibit the beneficial use and disposal of coal ash (also known as Coal Combustion Residuals [“CCR”]...more

DC Circuit Rules that FERC Must Consider Global Warming in Approving New Natural Gas Pipelines

by Snell & Wilmer on

The United States has one of the most extensive natural gas pipeline networks in the world. This vast network enables the ongoing switch away from coal-fired generation and toward a renewables and natural gas-based electric...more

Massachusetts Moves to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

by Robinson & Cole LLP on

On August 11, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) adopted a landmark bundle of regulations for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG). The regulations primarily target carbon dioxide (CO2)...more

RC Byrd hydro project licensed at Army Corps locks and dam

by PretiFlaherty on

Federal hydropower regulators have issued an original license to an Ohio city to construct, operate, and maintain a 50-megawatt hydroelectric project at an existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lock and dam site. If developed...more

FERC Failed to Adequately Consider Environmental Impacts of Downstream GHG Emissions Under NEPA Says D.C. Circuit

by Perkins Coie on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last week vacated and remanded a 2016 Order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that had authorized construction and operation of the Southeast Market Pipelines...more

D.C. Circuit: FERC Must Consider Potential Pipeline Downstream GHG Effects

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On August 22, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, vacated and remanded orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorizing the construction and operation of three...more

DC Circuit Holds FERC Must Analyze Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Approving Interstate Gas Pipelines

by WilmerHale on

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion in Sierra Club v. FERC, No. 16-1329 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 22, 2017), concluding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...more

D.C. Circuit Denies Sierra Club’s Petition Challenging DOE’s Orders Authorizing Exports for the Freeport LNG Terminal

by Hogan Lovells on

On August 15, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) denied Sierra Club’s petition challenging the United States Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) decision to authorize the...more

Rethinking Greenhouse Gas Emissions: D.C. Circuit Orders Further Environmental Review of Natural Gas Pipeline Certificate

by Hogan Lovells on

On August 22, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ruling that may change the way that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) examines the impacts of greenhouse gas...more

Solar Farms: Shining a Light on Zoning Requirements

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

With anticipation and wonder many of us stood still for several moments on August 21, 2017 hoping to catch at least a glimpse of the much anticipated total eclipse of the sun. Whether you were fortunate to be in the area of...more

Missouri PSC rejection of Grain Belt Express line exemplifies the regulatory uncertainty in getting a proposed project to market

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Since the presidential election last year, there has been lots of discussion about the need to make regulatory reviews of infrastructure projects more modern and efficient. President Trump has called for federal regulatory...more

Sustainable Development Update - August 2017 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Sustainable Development Focus - U.S. cities increasingly focused on resilience, but funding challenges persist - Urban Land - Aug 14 - The increased emphasis being placed by cities on embedding resilience into...more

[Webinar] New Developments Impacting the Oil and Gas Industry - August 31st, 12:00pm ET

by Steptoe & Johnson PLLC on

In this webcast, Diana Prulhiere and David Little will provide a high level overview of recent regulatory and litigation matters in Colorado affecting the oil and gas industry, as well as an update on recent regulatory...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds DOE’s Authorization of LNG Exports from the Freeport LNG Terminal

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Sierra Club’s petition for review of a U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) order authorizing long-term exports of liquefied...more

The New Administration’s Efforts to Deconstruct the Obama Climate Initiatives

by Sullivan & Worcester on

President Trump is spearheading a government-wide roll back of Obama Era climate initiatives. The president and his EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, have delivered a one-two punch. They both have denied the impact of human...more

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