Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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Clean Power Plan's Future in Jeopardy Under Trump

During his campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump vowed to scrap President Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule. The CPP is the cornerstone of President Obama's environmental legacy. The rule establishes the first national...more

Forecast for Energy and Environment Regulations

President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to bring back jobs in the coal industry and reduce regulations that could inhibit economic growth. His transition team has already begun arriving at federal agencies to review the...more

Federal Appeals Court to Determine Tribal Reserved Rights to Groundwater

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon determine whether the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has a federal reserved right to groundwater in a water rights case that could set a precedent for tribes across the...more

Early Views on the US Energy and Infrastructure Sectors Under a Trump Administration

Energy and infrastructure policy was as at the forefront of the presidential election discussion and has continued to be highlighted as a focus for the Trump administration. Here, we take an early look at how a Trump...more

Pennsylvania’s New Oil and Gas Regulations for Unconventional Wells – Part 2: Recent developments; waste management,...

Part 1 of this Client Alert provided background on Pennsylvania’s new regulations for unconventional oil and gas wells – published on October 8, 2016 as Chapter 78a (the “Chapter 78a Regulations”) – and highlighted sections...more

NPS updates oil and gas rights rules

The U.S. National Park Service has adopted a final rule updating its regulations governing the exercise of non-federal oil and gas rights. The NPS states that the rule improves its ability to protect park resources, values,...more

Policy Predictions: How will Trump's 100-Day Plan Affect U.S. Energy Industry?

The American landscape is littered with failed prognostications about what new Presidential administrations would or would not ? and could or could not ? accomplish. Every new President faces the challenge of transforming...more

Environmental Groups Sue Federal Agencies Again in Unending Legal Battle Over Offshore Oil Development

On November 11, 2016, the Environmental Defense Center (“EDC”) and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper jointly filed suit against several federal agencies including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - BP to pay $14 million in settlement over gas storage tanks - San Jose Mercury News - Nov 17 - The BP oil company has agreed to pay $14 million to settle California...more

Renewable Energy Update - November 2016 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - New solar, wind competitive leasing program to start for U.S. public lands - Renewable Energy World - Nov 15 - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has finalized a rule that...more

The Department of Energy’s Simplified IIP Process Goes Into Effect in November

On November 28, 2016, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) simplified Integrated Interagency Pre-Application (IIP) Process will go into effect. The IIP is a voluntary, pre-application process intended to streamline and...more

Adding micro-hydro to licensed hydropower project

What happens when a FERC hydropower licensee applies for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of developing a micro-hydro project, where the new project will be sited at an existing project's dam? In a recent case...more

Fish and Wildlife Service, Park Service Overhaul Decades-Old Regulations on Oil and Gas Operations in Wildlife Refuges and...

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) yesterday announced its final rule governing oil and gas development in wildlife refuges, updating the regulations for the first time in over 50 years. The final rule will be...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump victory reverses U.S. energy and environmental priorities - Washington Post - Nov 9 - Donald J. Trump comes into office with a plan to toss out most of what...more

Endangered Fish v. Humans: The Fight Over Competing Water Needs

The struggle to allocate scarce water resources between endangered and threatened fish and humans is not new. But droughts in the Southwest, which lower stream flows, and population increases, which raise demand, have...more

Environmental Notes - November 2016

EPA has revised its procedures for making certain changes to its “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” also known as SW-846. The test method and its compendium of guidance documents provide...more

Renewable Energy Update - November 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - California needs to invest $5B in transmission to support renewables goals - Utility Dive - Nov 2 - Staff of the California Energy Commission have completed an assessment of the...more

Second-Ever Eagle Programmatic Take Permit Soon To Be Granted For California Wind Energy Facility

On November 1, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its plan to issue what will be only the second programmatic eagle take permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) permit program...more

Nuclear Energy Returns

The first nuclear generator commissioned in the U. S. in 20 years has begun commercial operation. The Tennessee Valley Authority brought the Watts Bar 2 Reactor on line on October 19 (The Hill). Despite the long interval...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Listing Decision Based on End of Century Climate Change Predictions

On October 24, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) determination listing the Beringia Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Bearded Seal...more

Pennsylvania’s New Oil and Gas Regulations for Unconventional Wells – Part 1: Planning and Permitting

The new rules for unconventional oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania are finally here. The regulations in Chapter 78a, relating to unconventional wells, were publish ed in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on October 8, 2016....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal report recommends gas-storage safety changes - OC Register - Oct 18 - A task force commissioned by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety...more

California DWR Releases Final Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications

On October 18, 2016, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its final modifications to California’s groundwater basin boundaries in response to the emergency regulations adopted by DWR last October. The basin...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal air board proposes stricter regulations for smog-reduction plan - Los Angeles Times - Oct 7 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) released a...more

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