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Fracking: Yes! There’s Insurance Coverage for That!

Some people believe that “fracking” – the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology – is a miracle, increasing the extraction of oil and gas from places deep under the ground where hydrocarbons were...more

The Early Bird Catches the Worm: A Lesson in Submitting Drilling Applications Early to Avoid Expiration of Federal Oil and Gas...

As many of you know, permitting delays are not only frustrating but can have real consequences for project applicants with contractual deadlines. In the case of a federal oil and gas lease, operators should be mindful of the...more

FERC Technical Conferences Examining EPA Clean Power Plan Are Underway

At the close of 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) announced that it would hold a series of technical conferences to examine issues surrounding compliance with the Clean Power Plan proposed by the U.S....more

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC, Part II - Infrastructure

Because I had a seat inside the meeting room at FERC's Clean Power Plan Overview last Thursday, I got a close-up view of the protesters. Most were older (as opposed to the college-student variety), they carried signs, wore...more

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC

It is innocuous enough: Conference on Environmental Regulations; but the plainness of title belies what is going on at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today. Today is the first public forum at FERC on EPA's Clean...more

The Supreme Court of Texas Marries Contractual Limitations to Insurance Policies

In a case that has been closely watched by the oil and gas industry and its insurers, the Supreme Court of Texas issued its opinion in In re Deepwater Horizon on February 13, 2015, and settled the debate concerning whether a...more

Plan Ahead for New Stormwater Permit Requirements Taking Effect on July 1

After 13 years of deliberation and drafting, the new California Industrial General Stormwater Permit takes effect on July 1, 2015. The new Permit requires major changes in the way that businesses engaged in industrial...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm EPA is reopening the public comment period for its Notice of Availability of the draft small municipal...more

When Bad Things Happen at Good Facilities (Hazardous Air Pollutant Edition)

Malfunctions happen, even at a well-managed facility. When they happen, they can cause a facility to deviate from emission limits or other standards regarding (among other things) hazardous air pollutants. Furthermore,...more

The Sixth Circuit Extends the Clean Water Act’s Permit Shield Defense to General Permit Holders

The Sixth Circuit recently ruled that facilities holding a Clean Water Act (“CWA”) Section 402 general permit – one of two types of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permits – may avail themselves of...more

High-Speed Rail Authority Under Fire for Disrupting San Joaquin Kit Fox Habitat

On January 26, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) issued a letter to the California High-Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) that found that the Authority’s contractors are not in compliance with the Authority’s...more

A Federal Court Rules that Increased Conductivity Impairs a Stream — How Shocking!

On Tuesday, Chief Judge Robert Chambers ruled that Fola Coal Company violated the Clean Water Act by discharging mine waste with sufficiently high levels of conductivity to cause or materially contribute to impairment of...more

CEQA Year In Review 2014: A Summary Of Published Appellate Opinions And Legislation Under CEQA

In This Issue: - When Does CEQA Apply? - Exemptions from CEQA - Negative Declarations - Environmental Impact Reports - Certified Regulatory Programs - Supplemental CEQA...more

Washington State Producers and Retailers of Mercury-Containing Lights Face New Regulations

The New Year brought with it new obligations for any company that produces or sells mercury-containing lights in (or into) Washington State. As of January 1, 2015, the State’s recycling program and corresponding funding...more

TSCA: EPA Proposes a Significant New Use Rule That Would Close a Chapter on Perfluorinated Chemicals

On January 21, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed amendment to a significant new use rule (SNUR) for long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemicals. According to EPA's January 15,...more

SHE Matters - Winter 2014/2015

In This Issue: - Fee For Intervention – Is It Set To Stay? - How To Protect Brand Reputation And Sales From The Risks Associated With A Product Recall - Review Of The Proposed Changes In The Sentencing Of Health...more

Corps Issues New Compensatory Mitigation Guidelines for California

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division, has issued its “Final 2015 Regional Compensatory Mitigation and Monitoring Guidelines.” The Guidelines will apply in the Corps’ San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles,...more

IRS Releases Guidance on Performance and Quality Standards for Small Wind Energy Property

The IRS recently released Notice 2015-4 (the Notice), which provides performance and quality standards that small wind energy property (defined under section 48(c)(4) of the Code as property utilizing a “qualifying small wind...more

Pennsylvania’s Act 162 Creates Alternative to Riparian Buffers for Compliance with Clean Streams Law

In October 2014, the Pennsylvania legislature passed and the governor signed Act 162 of 2014, which amended the Clean Streams Law. Effective December 21, 2014, developers proposing an earth-disturbance activity near special...more

Major Questions Remain for Implementation of China’s Strengthened Environmental Protection Law

On January 1, 2015, China’s significantly amended Environmental Protection Law (EPL) went into effect, having been adopted on April 24, 2014. A product of three years of contentious debate, the new EPL marks the first changes...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - New Critical Habitat for Gulf of Maine Atlantic Sturgeon to be Designated - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has agreed to designate critical habitat...more

New Water Reporting Requirements for Oil and Gas Operators

A new oil and gas reporting bill, Senate Bill 1281, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley, was signed by Governor Brown on September 25, 2014. The California Department of Conservation – Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal...more

Construction & Land Use Newsletter - December 2014

In This Issue: - Protecting Your Brand: A Gift Not Reserved for the Holidays - Amendment to the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act - Changes are Coming to ISD - Arlington’s New LEED...more

Emissions Reduction Fund Passed by Australian Parliament

On 24 November 2014 the Australian Parliament passed the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 (Bill) which puts in place the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). The ERF is the cornerstone of the Australian Government's...more

Are Plastic Shopping Bags Being Sacked?

In earlier blog posts, we reported on the growing trend in U.S. cities to pass bans on single-use plastic shopping bags and impose fees for traditionally free bags provided in store checkouts, including the status of...more

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