Environmental Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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NERC's Polite Review of the Clean Power Plan: A "Challenge"

When the draft of EPA's Clean Power Plan was promulgated in the Federal Register last June, one of the critical questions raised by those in the electricity space was: what about reliability? If you shut down all those coal...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

CEQA Judicial Outcomes: Fifteen Years of Reported California Appellate and Supreme Court Decisions

This report analyzes all published opinions from 1997 through 2012 litigated to the California Court of Appeal or the California Supreme Court concerning the analytical validity of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or...more

FERC Policy Statement Regarding Pipeline Recovery of System Modernization Costs

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities (the “Policy­­­.Statement”), opening...more

California Governor Aims to Reduce Emissions 40 Percent Below 1990 Levels by 2030

In an Executive Order issued yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown set “a new interim statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is...more

Your Texas Legislature at Work, Part 2

The Texas legislature is still busy on energy issues. Is that good or bad? It depends on your situation; oil patch thieves won’t like it. Wind Energy - Senate Bill 931 would blow away the Renewable Portfolio...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Approval of Maryland Natural Gas Facility

On April 24, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community v. FERC, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approval of Dominion Transmission’s...more

Governor Brown Announces New 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target for California

This morning, California Governor Jerry Brown announced Executive Order B-30-15, setting a target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The 2030 target acts as an interim goal...more

Environmental Alert: "Potential Seismic Activity from Injection Wells Prompts Railroad Commission of Texas to Order Hearings"

On Friday, April 24, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) ordered hearings regarding two waste injection well permits. The hearings are to address an alleged connection between the injection wells and seismic activity in...more

Texas Changes the Goal(s)

The news in 2015 is the proposed repeal of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Back in 1999, when they deregulated the electric market, Texas adopted an aggressive RPS of 10,000 MW by 2025 (including 500 MW of non-wind...more

Energy & Environment Update - April 2015 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of...more

The Most Influential, Unimplemented Federal Rule in History

The Clean Power Plan, as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency last year, would limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants for the first time in history. The proposal, slated to go final this summer, is...more

House Subcommittee to Revise Draft TSCA Reform Bill for May 14 Markup

Legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), already introduced in the Senate, has taken a step forward in the House of Representatives as well. ...more

Tribes in Arizona May Have Opportunity to Participate in State’s Implementation Plan for the EPA Clean Power Plan

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law SB 1007, which authorizes the state to include tribes in any state plan to implement the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2)...more

Obama Administration Releases First Installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review

The Obama Administration released the first installment of its Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”), which focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (“TS&D”). The QER was first launched in Obama’s Climate Action...more

PHMSA Targeting Pipeline Construction - Enforcement Focus on 60-Day Notification Requirement

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has stepped up enforcement efforts concerning pipeline and LNG terminal construction. Construction-related inspections have resulted in a number of recent enforcement...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - California court rules tiered water pricing plan violates Prop 218: Allen Matkins - Apr 21: California's local water suppliers, hit with reduction requirements varying from 8 percent to...more

Five Years in the Making: Improved Safety for Offshore Oil and Gas Development

Sometimes new regulations come out of nowhere. And sometimes it is just a matter of time. Last week’s unveiling of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) offshore blowout preventer and well control...more

Opponents of EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan Face Tough Questions From the Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument on the first legal challenges to EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” on April 16, 2015. The plan is a proposed rule under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air...more

Department of Energy Report Calls for U.S. to Modernize Energy Infrastructure, Invest in Natural Gas Pipelines

On Tuesday, April 21 the Obama Administration released the first Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”) as a component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The extensive report analyzes energy infrastructure in the United...more

Progressively Tiered Water Rates to Promote Conservation May Violate Proposition 218

California's local water suppliers, hit with reduction requirements varying from 8% to 36% and potential penalties of up to $10,000 per day for noncompliance, are scrambling to figure out how to comply with these severe...more

Renewable Energy Update - April 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Fossil fuels just lost the race against renewables: Renewable Energy World - Apr 15: The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Army Corps jurisdictional determinations subject to pre-permit judicial review, Eighth Circuit says - Allen Matkins - Apr 13: EPA and Army Corps of Engineers imposition of federal...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria - EPA has announced an extension of the public comment period for the second external review draft of a document titled, “Second External Draft...more

Troubles for Town’s Wind Turbine

In the long-running dispute between the Town of Falmouth and the neighbors to the Town’s wind turbine that powers the municipal wastewater treatment facility (WWTF), score one for the neighbors. ...more

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