Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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2016 Water Legislation Reaches New Areas & Sets the Stage for President-Elect Trump

In enacting the “Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act,” Congress expanded the traditional role of Water Resource Development Acts. Where past legislation focused solely on water and navigation projects to be...more

MEDEP Proposes to Adopt EPA's Solvent Wipes Rule

For many years, both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) have wrestled with the practical question of how solvent-contaminated wipes should be...more

Completing the Loop Without Reinventing the Wheel: First District Holds 1998 EIR Adequate Without Further CEQA Review to Analyze...

In an opinion filed November 29, and belatedly ordered published on December 22, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s denial of a writ petition challenging on CEQA grounds the San Francisco...more

Land Use Matters, Alston & Bird LLP, November/December 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

Public Decision Making newsletter - Summer Edition 2016

This newsletter summarises recent developments in resource management and local government law in New Zealand that are of particular relevance to local authorities and decision makers. In this edition, we address recent...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - California sues to block offshore oil hydraulic fracturing - OC Register - Dec 20 - California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the California Coastal Commission filed...more

RI Federal Court Sides With EPA On Stormwater Permitting Requirements

A federal court in Rhode Island recently held for the EPA on the scope of its non-discretionary duties regarding stormwater discharges. The case arises out of the EPA’s failure to (i) notify certain commercial and industrial...more

Black-Capped Vireo to be Removed From Endangered List, Un-Capping Development in Texas and Oklahoma

On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“USFWS” or “Service”) published a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) to remove the black-capped vireo (“BCV”) from the list of endangered and threatened species under...more

Reliance on 1998 EIR Under CEQA Upheld Based on Substantial Evidence

In The Committee for Re-Evaluation of the T-Line Loop v. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, et al., California's First District Court of Appeal is the first appellate court to apply the California Supreme Court's...more

CEQA Does Not Require Local Lead Agency To Provide For Administrative Appeal To Elected Body of Nonelected Body’s Decision That...

In an opinion filed December 7, and later ordered published on December 16, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment denying a writ petition on the “single legal issue” whether plaintiffs were entitled...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump picks Perry for top U.S. energy job - Reuters - Dec 15 - President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday named former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the U.S. Department...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final Revised Eagle Rule

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published notice in the Federal Register of a long-anticipated final rule revising its eagle permitting regulations (Revised Eagle Rule). Concurrent with the Revised Eagle...more

EPA Publishes Final Rule for Small MS4 General Discharge Permits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit Remand Rule in the Federal Register on Dec. 9,...more

PHMSA Issues Interim Final Rule on Underground Natural Gas Storage Safety - Incorporation of Industry Recommended Practices to...

On December 14, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR or Rule) addressing critical safety issues related to downhole facilities, including wells, wellbore...more

Energy in Transition: Trump Announces Additional Cabinet Nominees

President-Elect Donald Trump announced this week three new cabinet nominees who will certainly influence U.S. energy policy at home and abroad. This alert is intended to update clients on the President-Elect's nominees and...more

EPA Proposes To Tighten MACT Limits For Kraft Mills

On December 14, 2016, EPA signed its proposed Kraft Pulp Residual Risk and Technology Review rule covering 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart MM (a.k.a. “MACT II”) for recovery furnaces, lime kilns and smelt dissolving tanks at kraft...more

Renewable Alert Letter 27

On December 13, 2016, the Procurement Price Calculation Committee announced proposed procurement prices and other rates for FY2017 and beyond. Proposed procurement prices are shown for solar power of 10kW or more and...more

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase

Filing fees are being increased by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for all California Environmental Quality Act Notices of Determination filed on or after Jan. 1. As was the case in 2016, no DFW fee will...more

VDEQ Changes Approach to No Further Action Letters and Officially Launches VURAM

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) has clarified its approach to issuing “no further action” letters (“NFAs”) for sites with both petroleum and non-petroleum contamination. This clarified approach will...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes De-Listing the Black Capped Vireo

On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to remove the black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla) from the list of Endangered and Threatened Species. The Service has concluded...more

Vapor Intrusion: EPA is Sharpening Its Focus

On December 8, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the ranking system designed to assess potential Superfund sites will now include evaluation criteria related to contamination threats posed by...more

First-Ever Legal Challenge Filed Against Proposed Federal Offshore Wind Lease Auction

A coalition of fishing advocates, local towns, and municipalities from New Jersey to Rhode Island has sued the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and sought a temporary restraining...more

EPA Publishes Proposed Benchmarks for Revised District of Columbia MS4 Permit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on Nov. 17, 2016, a Notice of Intent to Reissue the District of Columbia's municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit. The notice triggers a 45-day public...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Changes to Mitigation Policy

On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published the final revisions to its Mitigation Policy. The Mitigation Policy, first published in 1981, guides the Service’s recommendations and requirements...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Annual Candidate Notice

The Candidate Notice of Review is an annual appraisal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) of plants and animals that are candidates for Endangered Species Act protection. A “candidate” species is a species for...more

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