Government Contracting Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Renewable Energy Update - March 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - BLM issues new guidelines to streamline solar development in Western U.S. - UtilityDive - Mar 5 - New guidelines from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) streamline the implementation...more

U.S. Offshore Wind Seeks Critical Mass

Last week’s U.S. Offshore Wind Leadership Conference in Boston had the vibe of a technology sector ready to break out. Industry leaders, federal officials, and a panel of Massachusetts legislators extolled the economic...more

FAST Act Expedites Permitting and Environmental Review for Large Infrastructure Projects

Expedited permitting and environmental review for complex infrastructure projects may soon be a reality. Buried at the end of its most recent transportation reauthorization package (the “FAST Act” or “Act”) is a significant...more

Environmental Provisions of the FAST Act

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the “Fix America’s Surface Transportation Act,” Public Law 114-94 ("FAST Act"). As finally enacted, the FAST Act exceeds 400 pages in length. This paper reviews those...more

CEQA Year In Review 2015

In 2015 the California appellate courts continued to chart new ground as they grappled with some of CEQA’s most difficult and controversial questions. The Supreme Court of California led the way, issuing four opinions on...more

New Highway Law Streamlines Federal Permitting and Environmental Review for Large Infrastructure Projects

Earlier this month, President Obama signed the Highway Authorization Act into law. One of the objectives of this legislation was to expedite federal authorization (licensing, permitting, approval, etc.) and environmental...more

New Law Streamlines Federal Permitting and Environmental Review Processes

Major infrastructure developers received a notable holiday gift from Capitol Hill and the White House earlier this month with the December 4, 2015 enactment of the Highway Authorization Act. Title XLI of the Act promises to...more

Energy, Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Legislation Signed by the President

The Highway Authorization Act signed into law by President Obama last Friday, December 4, includes an important set of reforms for streamlining the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects in a broad range of...more

Modernizing the Review Process or Just More Busy Work?

Those who have worked on the permitting and environmental review for a federally funded infrastructure project know the challenges that exist in coordinating with numerous agencies that may have oversight over a project. A...more

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique Of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part I – Proposed “Efficiency...

On August 11, 2015, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a 145-page “Preliminary Discussion Draft” of “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). The Discussion Draft “contains...more

The Animas Spill: EPA Liability and Insurance Coverage

When a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released three million gallons of contaminated mining work wastewater into the Animas River in August 2015, the EPA immediately took responsibility, as it...more

Fourth District Expounds On CEQA’s Responses To Comments Rules – And Abuses of the Process – As Well As Other Issues In Upholding...

In an opinion filed June 12 and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding a supplemental EIR (“SEIR 564”) for a long-planned expansion of the James A....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

Public-Private Partnerships Offer Alternative Model for Water Infrastructure Projects

In February 2012, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts completed a study of the state’s drinking, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs that identified a funding gap of at least $39 billion over the next 20 years. The...more

BLM Announces New Hydraulic Fracturing Rules for Oil and Gas Wells on Federal Lands; Industry Trade Associations and the State of...

On March 26, 2015, the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published its final rule setting new standards for hydraulic fracturing on onshore federal and Indian lands. The final rule, as published in...more

Virginia offshore wind research lease

The U.S. federal agency responsible for leasing offshore wind sites on the outer continental shelf has executed its first wind energy research lease, giving Virginia's state energy agency the right to pursue the Virginia...more

BLM Issues First Federal Regulations for Hydraulic Fracturing

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published in the Federal Register the Final Rule on hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The Final Rule sets...more

Legislature Approves $1 Billion Drought Relief Legislation; Governor Brown Expected to Sign

California Legislature Enacts Bill Package on Drought - On Thursday March 26, 2015, the California Legislature adopted legislation which it describes as allocating approximately $1 billion to emergency drought relief...more

Work Done Under Unchallenged CEQA Emergency Exemption Held Part Of Existing Environment Baseline In Subsequent CEQA Challenge To...

In a decision filed January 29, and belatedly ordered published on February 18, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected numerous CEQA (and other) challenges to the City of San Diego’s regular, after-the-fact...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

North Carolina offshore wind environmental assessment

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released an environmental assessment of the impacts of leasing sites off the North Carolina coast for offshore wind projects. This milestone...more

President Announces New Build America Initiatives; Introduces New Type of Municipal Bond

President Obama recently announced the latest steps federal agencies are taking to better incorporate private sector capital and expertise in improving the nation’s infrastructure. The announcement comes six months after the...more

Innovative P3 May Help Chesapeake Bay Stick to its Diet

Maryland’s Prince George’s County Council has approved a first-of-its kind agreement with Corvias Solutions for a 30-year stormwater management public-private partnership (P3). The novel initiative, formally announced by EPA...more

Chile Announces New Public Land Concessions for Non-Conventional Renewable Energy Projects

On October 1, 2014, Víctor Osorio, Chile’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced that 200 public land concessions were being made available, through a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Energy, to Non-Conventional...more

One If By Land, Two If P3

“We know P3 can work.” “P3 isn’t the answer to our infrastructure crisis, but it is an important tool.” “Federal investment in P3 projects must be expanded.” “States must be encouraged to use P3 financing, even if they...more

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