Transportation Zoning, Planning & Land Use Administrative Agency

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UPDATE: Texas RRC Agrees Earthquakes Not Caused by EnerVest, XTO Injection Wells

In a November 3 decision, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) agreed with an administrative law judge (ALJ) that two wastewater injection wells, one operated by EnerVest Operating LLC and the other by Exxon Mobil Corp....more

Environmental Impact Assessments Don’t Have to Be Wise, But They May Not Assume Their Conclusion

In an important decision last week, United States District Judge Jorge Alonso rejected the Environmental Impact Statement for the Illiana Corridor Project, which would connect I55 in Illinois to I65 in Indiana. (And why...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, May 2015.

EPA Releases TSCA Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation, Initial Assessment For 1,4-Dioxane: On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan...more

DOT Tank Car Rule Reflects Refined Cost-Benefit Analysis

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation, acting through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, issued a much-anticipated final rule on the enhanced tank car standards and operational...more

New Federal Oil-By-Rail Regulations Published

Today, May 8, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule for rail transport of crude oil in the Federal Register. These rules come after several high-profile oil train derailments,...more

Recent Surface Transportation Board Preemption Decisions of Note

In the last several months, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has issued a number of decisions further defining the scope of federal preemption. As the primary agency tasked with the economic regulation of the...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term. This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law. Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted...more

2014 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2015 Forecast

At first it seemed 2014 had been a relatively slow year for eminent domain cases. But looking back, there was more activity than we initially recalled. There were few decisions that provided any dramatic shift in the...more

Drone on Drones: Drone Zones

The policy debate over domestic use of drones is ongoing, and legal issues surrounding privacy are still being worked out. As 2015 begins, however, it seems appropriate to look forward to where drones may be going in the near...more

May State and Local Governments Control Low-Flying Drones?

Most of the attention paid to drones has focused on issues of aviation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authority. Yet much of the impact of low-flying drones will fall, not on the national air transportation system,...more

Transportation Projects Get A Lot Of Deference in Demonstrating Compliance With Air Quality Standards

In a decision late last month, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made clear just how much deference agencies can get under the Supreme Court decisions in Chevron and Auer. The question in NRDC v. USDOT was whether, in...more

Six Regional Projects Awarded Federal Funding

Good news California: local projects are continuing to receive federal funding. Caltrans announced last week that the U.S. Department of Transportation has granted nearly $35 million in TIGER funds to six local and regional...more

It’s Really Difficult to Site a Highway in a Refuge

In an important decision last week, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals made clear just how high the hurdles are in the way of building highways in wildlife refuges. The decision in Defenders of Wildlife v. North Carolina DOT...more

CEQA Alert: Court of Appeal Blunts Latest CEQA Attack on California’s High-Speed Train System

On July 24, 2014, California’s Third Appellate District affirmed a trial court’s ruling that the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (Authority’s) revised final program environmental impact report/environmental impact...more

Court Signals Green to $8.6bn California High-Speed Rail Bond Issuance

The Third District Court of Appeal reversed a Sacramento Superior Court Judge’s ruling that prohibited the High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) from selling bonds under Proposition 1A to construct the High Speed Rail Project...more

Untamed Skies: Domestic Drones Remain Unregulated

What once was a technology confined almost exclusively to military use has now made its way into the hands of businesses, domestic agencies and private hobbyists. Small, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or UAVs), more commonly known...more

Eight Is Not Enough: CEQA Challenge To Eighth Addendum To San Jose International Airport Master Plan EIR Is Rejected By Sixth...

In a decision filed June 6, but not certified for publication until July 2, 2014, the Sixth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding the City of San Jose’s eighth addendum to its Airport Master...more

Keystone XL Pipeline Project Halted in Nebraska

On Wednesday, a Nebraska District Court dealt the Keystone XL pipeline project a heavy blow. The court invalidated a law that allowed the state's governor to approve the pipeline's passage through Nebraska. The court ruled...more

Eminent Domain to Be Used for I-80 and I-680 Interchange

California continues to move forward with more infrastructure improvement projects. According to an article in the Daily Republic, Agency starts eminent domain proceedings for I-80/680 project, the Solano Transportation...more

PHMSA Inspections to Focus on Integrity Management Program Evaluations

Effective immediately, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) inspections will emphasize the review of operator methods for integrity management (IM) program evaluations, the agency said in an Advisory...more

Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Alert -- Act 13: Distributing The Cost Of Increased Road Deterioration

Anyone who has traveled on a Pennsylvania highway knows that road deterioration and maintenance issues are a significant concern in the Commonwealth. Indeed, for many years various studies and surveys have ranked Pennsylvania...more

Federal Transportation Law MAP-21 Seeks to Expedite Environmental Reviews

On October 1, 2012, the 2012 federal surface transportation reauthorization law, known as “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (or MAP-21), goes into effect. The legislation was passed after intense partisan...more

CEQA Exception For Bike Lanes Nearing The Finish Line

While most attempts to push-through last-minute CEQA reform were parked until next year, one bill, AB 2245, glided through the legislature and now heads to the finish line on Governor Brown’s desk for signature. The bill,...more

Who pays for road damage in Pennsylvania after ACT 13? [Video]

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania continues to experience dramatic increases in heavy-truck transportation activity associated with Marcellus Shale. So much so that approximately one-quarter of all PA-state routes are now...more

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