Zoning, Planning & Land Use Energy & Utilities

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The Saga of Pennsylvania's Act 13 Comes to an End

With a bang, rather than a whimper, the saga of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 appears to have finally come to an end. On September 28, 2016, nearly three years after giving teeth to the long-dormant environmental rights amendment to...more

Public-Private Partnerships Can Power the Green Economy

At the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton expressed a desire for the United States to become the “clean energy superpower of the 21st century.” Donald Trump responded that he, too, believes in all forms of energy, but...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues New Decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth Case

On September 28, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision in the Robinson Township v. Commonwealth case, in which petitioners challenged numerous provisions of Act 13 of 2012, 58 Pa. Con....more

New California Law Amends Water Supply Planning Laws

Water Supply Sufficiency Analyses Must Consider Groundwater Sustainability - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 1262 into law, representing an initial attempt to incorporate groundwater management requirements under...more

Clean Power Plan has its day in court - Will the D.C. Circuit uphold EPA’s landmark CO2 regulations?

In a marathon day-long session before a packed courtroom (and a number of overflow rooms) on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard oral arguments in a litigation challenging the...more

Solar Project Financing [Video]

Darin Lowder discusses emerging financing and development trends in utility-scale solar projects. Mr. Lowder—a partner in Ballard Spahr's Energy and Project Finance Group—handles commercial and residential alternative energy...more

UPDATE: Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

Update: September 26, 2016 - On September 21, 2016, the Honorable George C. Hernandez, Jr. issued the final Statement of Decision, which affirmed the tentative decision denying all claims for relief. The court denied...more

BLM Moves Forward with Phase I of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) has now been approved, paving the way for streamlined permitting and environmental review of qualified renewable energy projects on Bureau of Land Management...more

Statute of Limitations for Actions to Remove Encroachments from Easements Returned to 20 Years

In 2007, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held in Pottle v. Link, 187 N.C. App. 746, 654 S.E.2d 64 (2007), that actions to remove encroachments from an easement must be brought within six years of the encroachment being...more

Alberta’s “30 by 30” Renewable Energy Target: Will Wind Energy Projects Now Be Permitted on Public Lands?

On September 14, 2016, the Alberta government provided an update regarding its Renewable Electricity Program. In particular, the government confirmed a firm target of 30 per cent electricity from renewable sources by 2030 (30...more

California’s New Climate Change Laws Tighten Limits on GHG, Increase Legislative Oversight of CARB

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law last week two controversial anti-climate change bills that will tighten greenhouse gas (GHG) limits by 40% and increase legislative supervision of the California Air Resources...more

Back to the Fracking Drawing Board for BLM? Fracking’s Risks Are Too Obvious to Ignore

Last week, Judge Michael Fitzgerald granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in a citizen suit alleging that BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement prepared to address whether to open certain lands in California to mineral...more

Federal and State Wildlife and Natural Resources Managers Collaborate on Historic Conservation Agreement

The WilmerHale Energy, Environment and Natural Resources group was proud to represent Newmont Mining in working with state and federal entities, among other stakeholders, to develop a historic 1.5-million-acre voluntary,...more

[Webinar] Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - September 20th, 10:00am PDT

Join Nossaman attorneys for a timely discussion of new laws that are changing the landscape of water resource management. This webinar for CLE credit* will cover critical water-related legal topics including implementation...more

Due Diligence For Bankable Solar PV Projects

Sharp reductions in the price of solar PV technology, dramatic technological advancement and (until recently) generous subsidies for solar PV generation have enabled developers to project reliable and attractive revenues over...more

BLM Must Take a “Hard Look” at Fracking Impacts

On September 6, 2016, a federal Judge issued an Order finding that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) failed to take a “hard look,” as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), at the potential...more

California Moves Forward With Aggressive Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets – Governor Brown Signs Into Law SB 32 and AB 197

On September 8, California's Governor Brown signed companion bills from the Senate and Assembly, Senate Bill 32 (SB 32) and Assembly Bill 197 (AB 197), continuing California on a path to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions –...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown signs into law two landmark climate bills - San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 8 - Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed SB32, the nation’s toughest climate law,...more

Natural Gas Explosion Kills 10 Campers

A natural gas pipeline in New Mexico exploded, killing 10 people and leaving 86’ x 46’ x 20’ crater. Natural gas pipelines are dangerous. There are a litany of incidents demonstrating this danger, most recently in New...more

A Lumber Mill Biomass CoGen Need Not Consider Other Fuels In Its BACT Analysis. Other Sources Should Be So Lucky.

Ever since EPA began considering how BACT analysis would be applied to greenhouse gas emissions, there has been concern that EPA would use its BACT authority to “redefine the source” – with the particular concern that BACT...more

California Governor Extends CEQA Litigation Streamlining Provisions for Large Projects Promoting Job Creation and Innovative...

Law Will Expedite Schedules for Qualified Projects - On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill extending special California Environmental Quality Act litigation streamlining provisions for large,...more

Southern California Environmental Update #2

This is the second update on environmental regulatory and legal developments in Los Angeles and adjacent counties, as well as the Southern San Joaquin Valley. We welcome your comments and feedback....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown and lawmakers reach deal for California climate funds - San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 31 - California lawmakers on Wednesday approved a $900 million spending...more

Federal dams, nonfederal hydro, and preliminary permits

Can a hydropower developer obtain a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a project to be located at a federal dam, where the federal entity owning the dam says it opposes the project? In a...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2016 #3

Supreme Court Clarifies Valuation Rules on Potential for Future Exactions - City of Perris v. Stamper S217738 (Cal. Supreme Court, July 21, 2016) - Why it matters: The California Supreme Court reexamined the rules...more

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