Environmental Transportation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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Understanding New Lithium Battery Transport Requirements & Emerging Developments as Safety Concerns Mount

Growing concerns over the safety of air shipments of lithium batteries have prompted international authorities, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), and Congress to take action. On January 19, 2016, the...more

The California Air Resources Board Expands the Burden on Motor Carriers to Verify if Hired Fleets Comply with Air Quality...

A broker, motor carrier, contractor, public agency, dispatcher, or developer (collectively “Operator”) that operates, or directs the operation, of any vehicle subject to the California Air Resources Board’s (“ARB”) California...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - California extends mandatory water cuts despite growing snowpack - Sacramento Bee - Feb 2 - California’s drought regulators agreed Tuesday to extend water conservation mandates...more

Vermont issues updated energy plan

Vermont energy regulators have completed an update of key energy and electricity plans for that state. The Vermont Department of Public Service has updated the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) and Electric Plan, two...more

EU Nations Extend Electric Car Rebates, Consider New Ones

While Europe has been the land of small diesels for decades, air quality concerns and consideration of fossil fuels’ impact on global warming has led EU nations to offer incentives to purchasers of electric vehicles. In...more

If It Walks Like a Carbon Tax and Talks Like a Carbon Tax, (Then the GOP Hates It.)

On February 4, 2015, the White House released a fact sheet describing its efforts to create a “21st Century Clean Transportation System”. There’s a lot of interesting material in the plan, but all the headlines have been on...more

Updates to CEQA Guidelines for Transportation Impacts Analysis Under SB 743

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a revised draft of thresholds for measuring transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). These draft...more

OPR Releases Revised Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendment To Implement SB 743 Traffic Analysis Mandates

The evolution of CEQA traffic impacts analysis from level of service (LOS) methodology to a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) analysis continues apace. The latest step in this revolutionary paradigm shift was the January 20, 2016...more

Deadlines Are Fast Approaching as Congress Is Already Considering Priorities for Next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)

Stakeholders interested in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) civil works projects, water resources policy, or funding for harbor, inland waterway, and other projects should engage Congress to advance their priorities as...more

Office of Planning and Research Proposes Revisions to State CEQA Guidelines

Comments Sought by Feb. 29 on the Transition from LOS to VMT - The California Office of Planning and Research has issued proposed revisions to the State CEQA Guidelines implementing Senate Bill 743 (2013). SB 743...more

California Governor’s Office Releases Updated CEQA Guidelines Proposal on SB 743 Implementation

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a new draft proposal for implementing Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg 2013) (SB 743), which would require traffic analysis to be based on vehicle...more

The FAST Act Seeks to Streamline the Environmental Review of Infrastructure Projects

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act—a five-year, $305-billion transportation authorization and spending bill. The FAST Act largely focuses on funding...more

Environmental Policy Quarterly

Welcome to the Winter 2016 edition of Environmental Policy Quarterly, published jointly by the Environmental, Land and Natural Resources Practice Group and the Public Policy and Law Practice Group of K&L Gates. This...more

SC Public Policy Update - January 2016 #3

What's New: Judicial Elections - This week, the Judicial Merit Selection Commission gave legislators a report of qualified candidates for the upcoming judicial races. Judicial elections will be held on...more

Navy Launches “Great Green Fleet” Featuring Biofuel Powered Ships

On January 20, 2016, U.S. Navy (Navy) Secretary Ray Mabus and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack launched a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) of ships running up to 50 percent biofuels as part of the "Great...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (January 2016)

With most state legislative sessions in recess and federal legislative action unlikely until after the November 2016 election, it was no surprise that there were only a handful of new developments in the fracking world during...more

Generators of Regulated Medical Waste in New Jersey Must Meet Federal Standards After Preemptions

Generators of regulated medical waste (RMW) in New Jersey may need to revise their handling, marking and storage practices and procedures to meet federal hazardous materials requirements (49 CFR parts 171-180) (the federal...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - State lawmaker seeks to close old SoCal Gas wells in Aliso Canyon - Los Angeles Business - Jan 12 State Senator Fran Pavley is calling for Southern California Gas Co. to close older...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Gov. Brown declares state of emergency over natural gas leak - San Diego Union Tribune - Jan 6 - California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday over a...more

President Obama Unveils 2016 Energy and Environment Agenda

Last month, the White House released its fall Unified Agenda, which provides a look at the various regulations being developed by each agency and where each is in the rulemaking process. In the energy and environment space,...more

Supreme Engagement: CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California’s High Court

A new year often brings fresh perspective. With 2016 still in its infancy, it is natural to reflect back on what has been and also to contemplate what is yet to come. The California Supreme Court’s recent CEQA decisions, and...more

Environmental Provisions of the FAST Act

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the “Fix America’s Surface Transportation Act,” Public Law 114-94 ("FAST Act"). As finally enacted, the FAST Act exceeds 400 pages in length. This paper reviews those...more

Public Projects in Turmoil: The Saga Of The Bay Bridge, Delta Tunnels, and High Speed Rail Would Make A Compelling Reality TV Show

It took nearly twenty-five years for the Bay Bridge to become a reality and before the paint was even dry on the self-anchored suspension span questions had already been raised about the design and seismic safety of the...more

Off the Tracks: A Data-Driven Analysis of Crude-by-Rail Liability Factors, Exposure, and Potential Solutions

Crude oil prices are now approaching what pundits believe is likely to be the bottom phase in the current market cycle. Due to the price downturn, the arbitrage window that drives a substantial portion of crude-by-rail...more

Will FAST Act Make Permitting Faster? Streamlining Offered for Infrastructure Projects

The new federal highway funding legislation, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 4, 2015, provides long-term funding certainty for surface transportation...more

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