Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Administrative Agency

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Proposed Rule from US Department of the Interior Increases Pressure on Coal Mining Industry

On July 27, 2015, the US Department of the Interior, through its Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), proposed to revise regulations adopted under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Critical Habitat Designations Not Subject to Cost-Benefit Analysis

In Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. U.S. Department of Commerce, a decision with significant implications for property owners, the building industry, and the development community at large, the U.S. Court of...more

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates

With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Coming in the wake...more

White House Announces Plans To Revise the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology

The White House, through the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), announced a major initiative to overhaul the regulation of biotechnology products (OSTP Memo), which are products developed through genetic...more

SHE Matters - Summer 2015

In This Issue: - Changes to Comah Regulations - Make Sure You Are Prepared - Strengthening of Enforcement Powers Under the Environmental Permitting Regine and Tackling Waste Crime - Will You Be Affected? - The...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that the BLM’s Grant of a Right-of-Way for a Road Over Federal Land Does Not Trigger Consultation Under the...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) grant of a right-of-way over federal land for a road (the Road Project) for a wind energy project...more

Disclosing Violations to EPA in a Digital Age

Under EPA’s Audit Policy and Small Business Compliance Policy, companies that discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental violations may be entitled to penalty mitigation and other incentives. EPA...more

Environmental Impact Assessments Don’t Have to Be Wise, But They May Not Assume Their Conclusion

In an important decision last week, United States District Judge Jorge Alonso rejected the Environmental Impact Statement for the Illiana Corridor Project, which would connect I55 in Illinois to I65 in Indiana. (And why...more

District Court Issues Order Allowing Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides under the ESA to Utilize Extra...

On June 12, 2015, Federal District Judge Maxine Chesney issued a decision in Ellis v. Housenger (N.D. Cal.) allowing the plaintiffs to utilize expert declarations and exhibits that were not included in the certified...more

Bureau of Land Management Releases Conservation Plans for Greater Sage-Grouse

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released fourteen final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) that incorporate greater-sage-grouse conservation measures into the land-use plans for about 50...more

EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Finalize Rule Expanding Federal Jurisdiction Over Waters and Wetlands - June 2015

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Army Corps of Engineers released a final rule expanding federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The rule expands on existing law...more

Court of Appeal Decision Extends Lake and Streambed Alteration Program to Water Diversions

In a decision that will have ripple effects on water diversions throughout California, the Court of Appeal held that section 1602 of the Fish and Game Code requires notification to the Department of Fish and Wildlife...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 42

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 42 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Maryland, Texas, and Wyoming. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick...more

Nothing but Nonsense in New EPA Rule on Emissions

In response to a petition for final rule-making filed by the Sierra Club, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued on May 22, 2015, its final action requiring 36 states to revise their state implementation plans...more

Clean Water Act: New Rule Significantly Expands Reach of Federal Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) finalized the long-anticipated Clean Water Rule. The Rule defines the term “waters of the United States” as used by...more

Floods in Texas, Flood Mapping, Flood Dollars

Floods on the Rio Blanco these past few days demonstrate the link to climate change, but not in the way you think. It was a horrible Memorial Day weekend in Hays County, Texas. At least three people died from the worst...more

Claims about Biodegradable Plastics Breakdown Under FTC Scrutiny: Marketers Beware!

In the recent administrative proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against ECM Biofilms, Inc. (ECM), the FTC’s presiding chief administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled that the plastics additive manufacturer ECM...more

Federal Government Proposes Revisions to Endangered Species Act Regulations

While a number of Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bills continue to wind their way through Congress (see our May 6, 2015 post), Monday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)...more

Court Of Appeals Upholds General Permit Procedures For Storm Water Discharge

The New York State Court of Appeals, in Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation , recently rejected a challenge to the general permit procedures adopted by New York...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, May 2015.

EPA Releases TSCA Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation, Initial Assessment For 1,4-Dioxane: On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan...more

California Water Law Update

To address the worsening drought, on April 1, 2015, Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 (“Executive Order”), mandating a 25% reduction in potable urban water consumption. In response, the State Water Resources...more

DOT Tank Car Rule Reflects Refined Cost-Benefit Analysis

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation, acting through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, issued a much-anticipated final rule on the enhanced tank car standards and operational...more

New Federal Oil-By-Rail Regulations Published

Today, May 8, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule for rail transport of crude oil in the Federal Register. These rules come after several high-profile oil train derailments,...more

Slow and Steady Wins the Race? Another Chapter in Ontario’s Ostrander Point Wind Farm Challenge

In an important development in the ongoing saga of judicial challenges to wind farm developments in the province, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) has restored the finding of the Environmental Review Tribunal (“ERT”) that...more

Recent Surface Transportation Board Preemption Decisions of Note

In the last several months, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has issued a number of decisions further defining the scope of federal preemption. As the primary agency tasked with the economic regulation of the...more

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