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Ohio Links Earthquakes to Fracking, Toughens Drilling Rules Near Fault Lines

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is tightening permit conditions for horizontal drillers after a report from state geologists found a “probable connection” between hydraulic fracturing and a string of small...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...more

Federal Agency Approvals Beyond the Scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

In the last month, two separate federal district courts have declined to extend the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (MBTA), to federal agency approvals of projects that plaintiffs alleged could...more

EPA’s Residual Permitting Authority

Continuing on the stormwater theme I began in my last post, the next topic I intend to cover is EPA’s so-called “residual” authority under the Clean Water Act. The statute specifically requires stormwater permits for...more

Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments (February 2014)

A. Fast Track Regulations - 1. 9VAC5-10. General Definitions (Rev. D13) (amending 9VAC5-10-20). Statutory Authority: § 10.1-1308 of the Code of Virginia; federal Clean Air Act (§§ 110, 111, 123, 129, 171, 172,...more

Third District Construes CEQA Guidelines’ Class 23 Categorical Exemption And “Unusual Circumstances” Exception In Rejecting...

In an exceptionally thorough and well-reasoned opinion, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging respondent 14th District Agricultural Association’s (District)...more

City Fails to Adequately Mitigate "Urban Decay" and Energy Impacts of Big Box Retail Project

In the latest decision addressing challenges to "big box" projects under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), on February 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal invalidated the approval of a retail project in...more

CEQA Alert: Court of Appeal Addresses Inadequate Blight/Urban Decay Mitigation and Energy Impact Analyses

In California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (opinion filed 2/28/14; partial publication ordered 4/1/14), the Third Appellate District ruled that the City of Woodland violated the California Environmental Quality...more

Federal Court Ruling Creates Effluent Limit Paradox - Violations may lead to suits, penalties under Clean Water Act

A federal judge in West Virginia ruled on March 31, 2014 that holders of water discharge permits, known as NPDES permits, must comply with water quality standards for parameters that the permit only requires to be monitored. ...more

Obama Administration Releases Proposed Rule on "Waters of the United States"

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule that will impact many segments of the U.S. economy, greatly expanding future permitting requirements. The proposed rule...more

EPA and the Army Corps Propose Rules Expanding Clean Water Act Jurisdiction, Potentially Affecting Everyone Who Uses Lands Where...

On March 25, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) jointly released a long-awaited proposed rulemaking that would redefine the scope of their shared jurisdiction...more

Ten Things To Know About California's New Industrial Storm Water Permit

On April 1, 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board unanimously adopted a new Industrial Storm Water permit (2014 Permit). You can find the new Industrial Storm Water permit and supporting documents here, along with a...more

Hydrokinetic energy projects in 2014

Hydrokinetic energy projects generate electricity from moving water, capturing the power embodied in tides, waves, and currents without the use of dams. Hydrokinetic energy resources are estimated to have a tremendous power...more

Take That! Second District Court of Appeal Clears Major Hurdles for Newhall Ranch Project, Provides Guidance on California’s...

California’s Second District Court of Appeal, Division Five, issued a decision on March 20 in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife (Case No. BS131347), overturning the trial court’s decision...more

California’s LCFS Surviving Challenges As Major Changes Loom

The Air Resources Board proposes to merge court-mandated re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard with other significant program changes. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to generate uncertainty due to...more

EPA issues draft permits for carbon sequestration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued the first draft permits for injecting and storing carbon dioxide in underground rock formations, which could advance carbon capture and sequestration efforts. ...more

U.S. Government Proposes Controversial Rulemaking Regarding the Clean Water Act

The proposed rule offers a definition of “waters of the United States” that expands the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction. On March 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...more

Regulating Stormwater – The Never Ending Saga

As you could probably tell from the number of posts I’ve written on the subject, stormwater fascinates me. Not that I particularly like rain or snow (particularly after this winter!). But, as an environmental concern and...more

District Court Remands Offshore Wind Project For Failure To Comply With Endangered Species Act

In a decision that has been nearly thirteen years in the making, on March 14, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service...more

The EPA And The Corps Of Engineers Release Proposed Rule On The Scope Of Waters Covered Under The Clean Water Act

On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to define those waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United...more

Texas Environmental Update

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal agencies release proposed rule on Clean Water Act jurisdiction: Los Angeles Times - Mar 25 -- On Tuesday, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army...more

Study: Statewide Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing Would Cost Colorado Billions

A statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing in Colorado would cost the state $12 billion in lost gross domestic product (GDP) and result in 93,000 fewer jobs—both over 2% declines—according to a study released on Wednesday by the...more

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