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Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

Ebola and its effect on shipping contracts

More than 1000 people have died in West Africa following the current outbreak of Ebola which began in March 2014. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the worst affected countries but deaths have now also been reported in...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of State -...more

DOT Proposes Hazardous Materials “Reverse Logistics” Program

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on August 11, 2014, proposed a rule that would add a section to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) creating...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - Environmental Protection Agency 111(d) Proposed Rule - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor proposes $6 billion water bond for California: Bloomberg - Aug 6: California Governor Jerry Brown has called on lawmakers to put a $6 billion “no-frills” bond measure on the...more

DOT Proposes Anticipated Safety Rule for Crude by Rail Transport

On July 23, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to strengthen safety standards for rail transport of...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Appellate court upholds environmental work for high-speed rail via Pacheco Pass: Fresno Bee - Jul 24 -- State appeals justices on Thursday upheld a lower court's approval of an...more

Kern County’s CEQA Mitigation Measure For Wind Farm Project Relying On FAA Review and Determination of Aviation Safety Impacts Is...

Alleged land use conflicts between newly proposed land uses and existing nearby airports are nothing new, and can produce heated CEQA battles as project opponents often raise “life safety” issues as potential project impacts....more

Energy Newsletter - August 2014

In This Issue: - Fifth Circuit Reins In Trend of Expanding ESA Liability for Remote Harm - Japan's Pivotal Role in the Global LNG Industry's 50-Year History - Government of Greece to Launch New Licensing...more

Environmental Alert: "EPA's Inspector General Says EPA Must Improve Efforts regarding Methane Emissions from Pipelines"

On July 25, 2014, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines.” In this report, OIG cited President Obama’s Climate...more

Rules for Rail Transport of Crude Oil and Ethanol Still a Work in Progress

In response to rail accidents over the past several years involving crude oil and ethanol, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has been working with industry stakeholders and the National Transportation Safety Board...more

DOE Joins “Farm To Fly” Initiative

DOE will reportedly join the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) "Farm to Fly" initiative to help promote the development and use of sustainable aviation biofuels. Under the initiative, USDA, Boeing, and the Air Transport...more

Oil Transport: PHMSA Proposes Comprehensive New Rules for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

Proposed sweeping new safety requirements for rail transportation of large quantities of flammable liquids, including crude oil, could increase costs significantly. Since 2013, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT)...more

Capital Thinking: Energy

DOT PUBLISHES NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING FOR NEW RAIL SAFETY STANDARDS - On Wednesday, July 23, the Department of Transportation (DOT) released a proposed rule designed to enhance the transportation safety of oil...more

Transportation Department Proposes Enhanced Rail Car Standards and Controls for Trains Carrying Ethanol and Crude Oil

On July 23, 2014, the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) detailing its proposed revisions to the Hazardous Materials...more

DOT Proposes Increased Safety Measures for the Transportation of Crude Oil, Ethanol and Other Flammable Materials

In response to several recent high profile incidents involving crude by rail, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a comprehensive rulemaking proposal on July 23, 2014, related to...more

USDOT Proposes New Rules for Rail Transport of Fossil Fuels

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“Administration”), an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) for...more

Secretary Foxx and PHMSA Release Much-Anticipated Proposed Rule On Crude By Rail Tank Car Standards

The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recenlty released a much-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to improve the safe...more

State and Local Communities Respond to Crude-by-Rail Safety Issue

July 6 marked the one year anniversary of the crude oil derailment in Lac Megantic Quebec, which significantly heightened throughout North America the awareness about safety issues surrounding crude by rail. This heightened...more

Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Oil and Gas Operations—Q and A

The desire to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in commercial operations is steadily building. A wide variety of businesses would like to use these devices to improve efficiency and safety, and reduce costs. One field that...more

Speculation Mounts Over Impending Crude By Rail Rule

As speculation over the federal government’s forthcoming rule on rail shipments of crude oil grows, two items hit the press last week increasing speculation over the details of the reforms. ...more

Multistate ZEV Plan Looks to Increase the Use of Zero-Emission Vehicles Through Infrastructure Development, Standardization, and...

On May 29, 2014, the ZEV Program Implementation Task Force issued a 32-page action plan detailing the efforts that eight states will undertake to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in use. ZEVs are battery...more

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Calls Proposed Denton Fracking Ban ‘Extremely Misguided’; Asks City Council to Reject Measure

On July 11th, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman sent a letter to the mayor and city council members for Denton, Texas asking that the council reject a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton. Chairman...more

LNG As A Marine Fuel – The Speed Of Change

“When I was asked if I might speak about the use of LNG as fuel for ships, two thoughts came to mind. Firstly, the old Latin maxim: volenti non fit injuria. Or in my vernacular: “well, you asked for...more

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