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Frackers v. Anti’s – Scoring update

The box scores after election day showed frackers 4, anti’s 4. Courtesy of a gubernatorial grand-slam by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, hydraulic fracturing is now banned throughout the entire state of New York....more

CEQ Issues Draft Guidance on Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The guidance will significantly affect infrastructure projects located on federal land and federal permitting of major energy projects. On December 18, the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued...more

New York Environmental Commissioner Will Issue an Order Early Next Year Banning “Fracking,” Under a Moratorium Since 2008

In a much-anticipated report, the New York State Department of Health has concluded that high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) should be banned statewide. In a nutshell, the Department found that there was insufficient...more

Conservation Easements Are Not Required As Mitigation For Permanent Loss Of Farmland

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, the California Fifth District Court of Appeal upheld the County of Fresno’s adoption of an Environmental Impact Report for a mining operation that will result in a permanent...more

New Water Reporting Requirements for Oil and Gas Operators

A new oil and gas reporting bill, Senate Bill 1281, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley, was signed by Governor Brown on September 25, 2014. The California Department of Conservation – Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal...more

2014 Saw A Wave of Environmental Law Changes

The past year saw several developments in environmental law at both state and federal levels, particularly regarding water supply, water quality and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. As federal regulators tightened the...more

Construction E-Note - December 2014

In this issue: - Construction Expected to Increase in 2015 - What Now? Why Maryland's Decision to Recognize the International Green Construction Code May Signal a Major Shift in the Means Utilized to Implement...more

New York Bans Hydraulic Fracturing

The ban comes in light of a report from the New York State Department of Health claiming there is insufficient information to understand the health risks....more

Fresno County Aggregate Mine Fends Off Court Challenge

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, No. F068818 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., Dec. 8, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld Fresno County’s (County) approval of the Carmelita Mine and Reclamation Project...more

What Now? Why Maryland's Decision to Recognize the International Green Construction Code May Signal a Major Shift in the Means...

There is little doubt that the U.S. Green Building Council (the “Council”) and its established Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, green building certification program have had a major impact on the United...more

Turning Manure into megawatts (Swine Farm Biogas Renewable Energy Project)

As I noted in my last post, Withers & Ravenel’s Swine Farm Biogas Renewable Energy Project, located in Bladensboro, North Carolina, is one of this year’s ACEC Excellence in Engineering Award winners....more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: State court may tighten review process for building super-sized homes - SFGate.com - Dec 8: In a case that could redefine the scope of California’s environmental laws, the state Supreme...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - California drought-relief bill passes House: SFGate.com - Dec 9: On December 9, the House approved a bill designed to give state and federal agencies authority to move more water in...more

Fifth District Rejects CEQA Challenge to Fresno County Aggregate Mine Project EIR In Partially Published Decision, Clarifies State...

In a lengthy, 65-page opinion filed December 8, 2014 (of which fully two-thirds was unpublished), the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Fresno County Superior Court’s judgment upholding the EIR, Conditional Use...more

Fourth District’s Split Decision Further Complicates CEQA Requirements Surrounding GHG Impact Analysis and Mitigation Measures –...

Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (11/24/14, D063288) - In a split decision on November 24, 2014, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal invalidated the program EIR...more

Comments Sought on Draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

There are about two months left in the public comment period on the draft of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation plan released by regulators in December, according to The Desert Sun. As the article explains, the goal of...more

The Great East/West Divide

I was honored to address the recent annual meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) in Reno, Nevada. Coming out west serves as a reminder of the chasm that exists between those Americans who earn...more

Local and National Environmental Groups Seek to Intervene in Denton Fracking Case

On Thursday, December 4, 2014, in Texas Oil and Gas Assoc. v. City of Denton, Cause No. 14-08933-431, 431st District Court, Denton County, Texas, the Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks filed a Joint Petition in...more

Benesch Shale Industry Report Quarterly Summary - Q3 2014

In this Issue: - Top Issues and Considerations - Shale Industry Moves - Ohio Shale Infrastructure - Government - Excerpt from Shale Industry Moves: E&P – Overview for Ohio...more

Swing, Pendulum, Swing: California's Historic Drought and Unprecedented Responses

Most know by now that California is facing one of its driest years in recorded history. Yet droughts are not new to California, and to put things in context we can be thankful that current drought conditions are only as bad...more

EPA Proposes to Revise Ozone NAAQS

On November 25, 2014, EPA issued a proposal to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”) for ozone. The Federal Register will publish the proposed rule in the coming days, and interested parties will be able...more

Fourth District Publishes Another CEQA Decision Setting Aside San Diego Lead Agency’s EIR For Failure To Analyze And Mitigate GHG...

Having seen years of their lofty regional planning efforts come crashing back to Earth, San Diego government entities have had little to be thankful about so far this holiday season on the CEQA front. In an October 29...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 2014 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus: Coastal California residents using far less water - Associated Press - Nov 4: Residents in coastal communities use far less water than their inland counterparts, but still find ways to...more

Denton Ban Emboldens Fracking Opponents in Other Texas Cities

After the first municipal ban on hydraulic fracturing in Texas went into effect on December 2in Denton, residents of other Texas cities are considering whether to pursue bans in their own backyards. Residents from disparate...more

Innovative P3 May Help Chesapeake Bay Stick to its Diet

Maryland’s Prince George’s County Council has approved a first-of-its kind agreement with Corvias Solutions for a 30-year stormwater management public-private partnership (P3). The novel initiative, formally announced by EPA...more

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