Government Contracting Zoning, Planning & Land Use Environmental

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Kitty Hawk NC offshore wind leasing

The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed leasing federal ocean space offshore North Carolina for commercial offshore wind development. On August 12, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced a proposed...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2016 #2

Proactive Predevelopment for Successful P3s - A new report was recently published by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) called Successful Public/Private Partnerships: From Principles to Practice. The report provides valuable...more

BOEM advances California offshore wind leasing

U.S. ocean energy managers are moving closer to leasing sites in federal waters offshore California for wind energy development. Acting in response to a lease area requested by Trident Winds, LLC, this month the Bureau of...more

EPA's Clean Energy Incentive Program

Expansion of Eligible Low Income Community Projects to Include Solar Projects - The Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) allows participants to earn tradeable emissions credits for...more

Saving Private Partnerships: Court Upholds P3 Project against CEQA Challenge under Save Tara

A 2008 California Supreme Court decision, Save Tara v. City of West Hollywood, cast doubt on local governments’ ability to enter into agreements with private developers prior to completing project review under the California...more

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

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