Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Energy & Utilities

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Fracking Is Not One-Size-Fits-All, Which Is Good News for California When It Comes to Water

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” has come under scrutiny for its potential impacts on water, including the risks to water quality and the amount of water used in the practice. California’s new regulations on...more

North Carolina Adds a New Square to the Patchwork Quilt of State-by-State Treatment of Hydraulic Fracturing

New York State garnered worldwide media attention on December 17, 2014, when Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced after six years of study that it was instating a complete ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing...more

Oklahoma Follows Texas’ Lead in Prohibiting Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

In the wake of Texas’ recent “ban on banning hydraulic fracturing,” Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a similar law—SB 809—prohibiting municipal governments from regulating oil and gas drilling at the local level. The bill now...more

Revision Of Coal Mining Permit By Environmental Group Results In Attorney Fee Award

In Black Mesa v. Jewell, 2015 DJDAR 1050, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that an environmental group was entitled to an award of attorney fees arising out of their challenge to the Office...more

Looks Like Frack is Back, Governor Abbott Signs House Bill 40

Yesterday, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law House Bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, which leaves municipalities with minimal power to regulate the oil and gas industry. The bill takes effect immediately...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - New legislation proposed to extend ITC: PV-Tech - May 20: A new piece of legislation has been proposed that would help extend the investment tax credit (ITC) for both residential and commercial...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Crews struggle to clean up oil spill near Santa Barbara: KQED - May 21: Crews will begin excavating the 24-inch pipeline that ruptured Tuesday, unleashing a flow of crude oil that has...more

Frack 2.0: Refracing Could Enable a Second Wave of Production Growth in the Bakken and Eagle Ford

Operators will likely refrac more oil and gas wells this year and further accelerate such activity in 2016. The reason is simple: substantial bang for CAPEX bucks. A recent study by engineers from SPE and Baker Hughes...more

Industry and Environmental Groups Make Pitch to Water Board Regarding Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) held a Public Workshop regarding the proposed Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring (“Model Criteria”). In this meeting, the Water...more

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations...more

Preliminary Injunction Motion Filed To Stop BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

Last Friday, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) opened their arguments on a preliminary injunction motion to halt the federal Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final...more

Independent Producers Seek To Halt Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule - BakerHostetler Files Injunction in Federal Court; Motion...

DENVER, May 15, 2015 — BakerHostetler today filed a request for preliminary injunction against the final rule the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The motion...more

TSCA Reform: House Subcommittee Holds Markup of Revised Draft TSCA Bill and Passes Amended Draft

On May 14, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a markup of a revised discussion draft of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, prepared by Subcommittee Chair John Shimkus (R-IL)...more

For Wind Developers: Tax Increment Financing Law – Near Miss at the Legislature

Good news! For those of you following the potential impact of LD 581, An Act to Clarify the Municipal Development District Law, on wind development in the state, please note that on April 27, 2015, the Joint Standing...more

NEPA Revised Draft Guidance on Consideration of GHG Emissions: Version 2.0 - Proposal Requires Federal Agencies to Assess GHG and...

Nearly five years after issuing its initial draft, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) continues to revise its draft guidance on conducting greenhouse gas (GHG) impact analyses under the National...more

North Carolina General Assembly Active on Renewable Energy Issues in 2015 Long Session

Two bills with significant renewable energy provisions were among those that survived the North Carolina General Assembly’s self-imposed “crossover” deadline of April 30, 2015. Most substantive bills must pass at least one...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - House votes to block EPA, Army Corps of Engineers' proposed definition of "waters of the United States": Visalia Times-Delta - May 12: House Republicans on Tuesday voted to block...more

Farms and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)

Pursuant to the Clean Water Act’s Oil Spill Pollution, Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Rule (SPCC Rule), farmers and other oil storage and handling facilities are required to have an SPCC Plan to prevent oil spills...more

Environmental Notes - May 2015

In this Issue: - Virginia’s Draft State Water Resources Plan - Frequent Questions: Form R Part II - Manufacturers and Temporary Workers - Farms and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act...more

Change Management for the Industrial Wastewater Discharger

Facilities discharging industrial wastewater to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) must be keenly sensitive to changes in the nature and volume of their discharge. Proper planning, notification and interaction with the...more

Southern Methodist University Study Suggests Hydraulic Fracturing Responsible for Uptick in Texas Earthquakes

In an article published late last month in the journal Nature Communications, researchers at Southern Methodist University pointed to hydraulic fracturing activities as the probable cause of an increase in earthquakes near...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Wyoming-to-California lines for wind power clear hurdle: REVE Wind News - May 2: A planned 730-mile power line project to export Wyoming wind power to Southern California has passed a...more

Five Georgia Environmental Bills to Watch in 2015

Georgia legislature warms up to solar panels, gets protective of coastal marshes, withdraws support for electric cars, and sacrifices LEED certifications in favor of jobs. April 2, 2015 marked final adjournment of the 2015...more

California State Water Resources Control Board Finalizes Rules for Desalination Plants

As the drought continues across California, the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) has adopted its first-ever requirements for desalination plants in the state. Desalination – a process of removing minerals from...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

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