Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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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

Court rejects contractor’s mechanic’s lien because of ‘intent’

The Illinois Court of Appeals’ recent decision in AUI Construction Group, LLC v. Vaessen highlights the need for careful planning in structuring development agreements, construction contracts, and the use of an easement as...more

California Must Pick Up Stormwater Check

Local public agencies realized an important victory in a more-than-decade-long, who-should-foot-the-stormwater-bill battle — a battle focused on a permit issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to the...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

Gavel to Gavel: Shifting water courses may affect property rights

As anyone who has spent significant time near a western Oklahoma river is likely aware, our water courses tend to be shallow, with beds composed of loose, sandy soil. These characteristics make western Oklahoma rivers...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

ITC Making More Good Faith Offers for Adams-Spokane Line in Macomb County

ITC is seeking expanded vegetation management rights from property owners in Washington Township. I was recently contacted by a property owner who received a good faith offer from ITC. The good faith offer seeks expanded...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

West Coast Real Estate Update: November 2016 #1

New Study Finds $6.7 Billion of Private Investment Along Foothill Gold Line - According to a new study, the extension of the light rail line east of Los Angeles, known as the Foothill Gold Line, has attracted billions...more

BLM Issues Final Rule Streamlining Renewables on Public Lands

On Nov. 10, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its final rule (Rule) governing solar and wind energy development on public lands. The Rule creates a new leasing program that uses competitive leasing processes...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

JLARC’S Virginia Water Resources Report Calls for Changes

Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (“JLARC”) is an entity created by the Virginia General Assembly to, among other things, assess the performance of state agencies and the programs they administer. In...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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Cities sue FAA over new flight plans - Los Angeles Times - Oct 27 - Citing concerns about the potential for increased aircraft noise and pollution, Newport Beach officials...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

California Adopts Measures Targeting Multifamily Residential Buildings for Water Conservation

In an effort to encourage water conservation throughout California, Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill into law that will require the owner of any multi-unit residential development constructed after Jan. 1, 2018 to...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

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