Environmental Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Alta Ski Area conduit micro-hydro project

Alta Ski Area has proposed developing a micro-hydropower project along an existing pipeline, and hopes to benefit from a streamlined regulatory process. Federal regulators have made a preliminary determination that the...more

Sustainable Development Update - May 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - Energy efficiency is a must for California buildings moving forward - Los Angeles Daily News - May 14 - Energy efficient homes like those at Skylar at Playa Vista in Los...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - In sharp reversal, California suspends mandatory water restrictions - New York Times - May 18 - The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Wednesday suspended its...more

FERC Grants Extension of Time for Natural Gas Storage Company to Construct Expansion Facilities Over More Than 250 Comments in...

On May 16, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Arlington Storage Company, LLC (Arlington) a two-year extension of time to construct a previously authorized underground natural gas storage expansion project....more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Draft 30-Year Programmatic Eagle Take Permit - Longer Permit Terms Welcome, But Certain Proposed...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on May 6, 2016, issued a draft rule that would extend to 30 years the maximum life of permits authorizing the incidental take of bald and golden eagles pursuant to the federal Bald...more

FERC and microhydro licensing

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed in New York cannot be constructed or operated without a license. The proposed Henson Micro Hydroelectric Project would be located on the...more

California Energy Agencies Advance Renewable Transmission Line Planning

California energy agencies and key stakeholders have finished the first step of a statewide planning process to evaluate transmission needs in the state and the region. This process, called the Renewable Energy Transmission...more

EPA Charts Middle Path for Making “Stationary Source” and “Major Source” Determinations: In Clarifying Meaning of Term “Adjacent,”...

A quarter mile is a common distance used for horse racing, drag racing, and track and field sprints. It is now also the farthest distance at which U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will consider two emission sources...more

EPA Doubles Down on Methane Regulation for Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a packet of measures targeting methane emissions from operations of the oil and gas industry on May 12, 2016. These measures include three final regulations affecting...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Some emergency drought rules might be eased - Los Angeles Times - May 9 - Governor Jerry Brown and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Monday laid out a revised...more

Fourth District Rejects CEQA Challenges To Large Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project In Separate Published Opinions

In two opinions filed May 10, 2016 (one partially and the other fully published), the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected a number of CEQA and other challenges to a project proposing to pump 50,000 acre-feet of...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Supports Renewable Developers and Proposes Revised Eagle Incidental Take Permit Reviving 30-Year...

On May 4, 2016, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a draft rule and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) analyzing the impact of the proposed rule on eagles, and extending the duration of...more

Upsetting the Outer Continental Shelf Ecosystem through Overbonding

At a time when the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) Well Control Rule has shifted focus away from its sister agency’s regulatory maneuvering, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) is changing...more

6 Key Takeaways from the FWS’s Proposed Update to the Eagle Act Rules

On May 2, 2016, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its second attempt to revise its rules authorizing eagle take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act). The rule would extend the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Judge refuses to halt Delta land sale to Metropolitan Water District - Sacramento Bee - May 1 - San Joaquin Superior Court Judge Barbara Kronlund last Friday declined to grant a...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015

Renewable Energy Focus - U.S. proposes giving wind farms 30-year "incidental take" permits - Reuters - May 4 - U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday again proposed granting 30-year permits to wind farms that...more

FERC relicensing and annual licenses

What happens when the holder of a hydropower license applies to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a new license, but the original license expires before the relicensing case is resolved? Depending on which federal...more

Sustainable Development Update - April 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - How cities are taking the lead on green building - Wall Street Journal - Apr 28 - Cities in the U.S. are leading the way on climate and energy policies—especially policies...more

Coal: Hope in the Face of Pressure?

The coal industry has experienced substantial economic turmoil over the recent past, including bankruptcies – most recently by Peabody Energy Corporation – but also by Arch Coal, Inc., Walter Energy, Inc., and Patriot Coal...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges - All 10 EPA regions are seeking public comment on the draft 2017...more

Sustainable Development Update - April 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - Simon Property Group and Current, powered by GE, collaborate on mall of the future - PRNewswire - Apr 19 - Simon Property Group, a global leader in retail real estate, and...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawsuit claims Delta fish harmed by relaxed water standards - Modesto Bee - Apr 25 - Relaxed water quality standards during the drought have harmed salmon, smelt, and other fish...more

EPA Methane Rules Are Coming

“Remember, I can do anything to anybody”, deranged and murderous Roman emperor Caligula to his grandmother (Julia, widow of Tiberius and herself no stranger to things done to other people as and when they pleased)....more

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...more

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