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FERC revokes hydro license over fish passage

What happens when the owner of a federally licensed hydroelectric project fails to build the fish passage facilities required by its license? In the recent case of the East Juliette Hydroelectric Project in Georgia, the...more

State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues. This year’s Environmental...more

Army Corps of Engineers Abandons New England General Permit - October 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, has decided to discontinue its plan for a regional general permit for activities within its jurisdiction that would have covered all six New England states. In 2013, the...more

Uncertainty Prevails as Illinois Delays a Decision on Fracing Regulations

Last week, Illinois’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted to push back its decision about whether to approve proposed rules governing horizontal fracturing operations until November 6. The delay promises to fuel...more

WVDEP Adopts Modified Aboveground Storage Tank Interpretive Rule

In the latest development relating to West Virginia’s new aboveground storage tank (“AST”) legislation, yesterday afternoon the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) filed with the West Virginia...more

Aboveground Storage Tanks: New Interpretive Rule and Draft Emergency Rule

By the time you are reading this, the October 1 deadline to register all aboveground storage tanks (“ASTs”) in West Virginia has passed, and the world is still turning. If you have not yet registered your ASTs, it is still a...more

Environmental Groups Seek to Derail Bakersfield Crude-by-Rail Project

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit challenging Kern County’s approval of the first substantial oil-by-rail expansion project at a California refinery, alleging that the comprehensive Environmental Impact...more

Court Dismisses Request That NEB Review Upstream and Downstream Effects of Pipeline

On May 16, 2014, the National Energy Board received a motion from the City of Vancouver, among others, requesting that the List of Issues for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project hearing be expanded to include environmental...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Environmental groups fight Southern California tar sands oil project: Courthouse News Service - Oct 13: Kern County illegally approved expansion of a local refinery that will let it...more

EPA Draft Ruling Could Mean Significant Changes to How Stormwater Systems are Categorized

The last thing that public agency leaders want to hear is that looming changes may make operating and building new public infrastructure more challenging and expensive. Unfortunately, proposed changes by the Environmental...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Army Corps Drops Regional Permit - The Army Corps has announced that it has abandoned the idea of establishing a regional general permit for the New England states. The proposal would have replaced the individual...more

EPA Comments Suggest Emphasis on Creativity and Internalizing Externalities in Climate Strategy

The American Bar Association's Section of Energy, Environment and Resources held its Fall Conference last week. Noteworthy from a climate perspective were the keynote address by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator...more

B.C. Supreme Court Upholds Recurring Short-Term Water Use Approvals

The B.C. Supreme Court has recently clarified the interpretation of section 8 of the B.C. Water Act. Section 8 relates to the power of the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) to grant approvals to oil and gas companies for the...more

Suit by Denton, Texas, Royalty Interest Owners Could be Harbinger of More Suits If Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Passes

Ahead of the November 4th vote that could make it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, the City of Denton has been sued by a group of royalty interest owners claiming that the city’s current temporary ban...more

Oil & Gas Law Alert: SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations - Second Revised Text of Proposed Regulations

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, the California Department of Conservation ("Department") issued public notice of the Second Revised Proposed Regulations for SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations ("Second Revised...more

Two petitions filed seeking Supreme Court review of Ninth Circuit decision in Delta smelt case

Recently, two separate petitions were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell, a case involving a challenge to the biological...more

BLM Issues Proposed Rule to Establish Competitive Leasing for Renewable Energy Projects on Public Lands

On September 30, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management issued a proposed rule that would establish competitive processes, terms, and conditions, including rental and bonding requirements, for solar and wind energy development...more

The Shale Play Today - October 2014

In This Issue: - West Virginia Aboveground Storage Tank Act Interpretive Rule Filed and Emergency Rule Out for Comment: The Aboveground Storage Tank Act was enacted in response to the January 9, 2014 spill that...more

BLM to Overhaul Solar/Wind Rights-of-Way Regulations

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a proposed rule that could alter the landscape of future renewable energy development, particularly in the American West, home to much of the country’s prime solar and...more

PADEP Proposes Tough New Policy for Enforcing Oil and Gas Violations and Responding to Water Contamination Complaints

On October 3, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”) unveiled a new draft policy that would strengthen its compliance and enforcement protocols for both unconventional and conventional oil and...more

Growing Michigan - Third Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - Food and Drug Administration Not Required to Ban Antibiotics Given to Food-Producing Animals - U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill -...more

Exemptions for Excess Emissions During Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Are In Jeopardy – What Can You Do?

For many years, a number of state air regulations, including certain MEDEP, NHDES, and RIDEM regulations, have contained exemptions and/or affirmative defenses for excess air emissions occurring during startup, shutdown...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - California becomes first state to ban plastic bags: SFGate.com - Sep 30: Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that makes California the first state in the nation to ban single-use...more

EPA Really Does Have Authority To Withdraw Specifications Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Last year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that EPA has authority to withdraw its approval for the specification of sites for the disposal of fill material, even after the Army Corps has issued a permit for the...more

Senators Critique Proposed Federal Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

On September 30, 2014, a block of twelve Democratic U.S. Senators presented a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), urging stricter fracking regulations. The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”),...more

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