Zoning, Planning & Land Use Updates

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Environmental Alert: EPA Will Not Require or Enforce Air Permits Solely For GHGs

On July 24, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation issued a Memorandum to all EPA Regions regarding the issuance and enforcement of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) related air permits following...more

The New Bucket List: NOAA’s Top Sites for Increased Nuisance Flooding

"Seawater on the streets.” One immediately knows that, notwithstanding the alliterative allure, something is not right. And when one is in Annapolis, Maryland, and the Alex Haley Scuplture Group is literally reading in the...more

Environmental Alert: "Clearly Allocate Risk of Change Interpretations in Transactions"

When buyers request that sellers warrant compliance with environmental law, sellers need to appreciate that agency interpretation or agency enforcement discretion may have played a role in the seller’s apparent ongoing...more

Environmental Due Diligence: A Practical Guide to Environmental Site Assessments Part 2

If after a Phase I ESA, the EP determines further investigation is warranted, that more invasive investigation takes the form of a Phase II ESA. The primary purpose in conducting a Phase II ESA is to evaluate any REC(s)...more

Reviewing Courts' Approaches to State or Local Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

While many debates over hydraulic fracturing continue throughout the oil and gas industry, a growing number of state courts are addressing the "home rule" argument, or in this case, whether local governments within the state...more

Collateral Estoppel Bars Copy-Cat Environmental Plaintiff in New Case After Judgment

Roberson v. City of Rialto (4th Dist., Div. 2, 5/21/2014, E058187) - The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment denying a petition for writ of mandate to invalidate project approvals for the construction...more

Report Recommends Update of USEPA UIC Program Citing Hydraulic Fracturing Concerns

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a report yesterday, July 28, 2014, that presents a need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) to update the Underground Injection Control class II...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

Regulatory Activity - EPA TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON CLEAN POWER PLAN - This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold public hearings in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh to...more

BLM Agrees to Complete Hydraulic Fracturing EIS for Leases in California

A recent agreement between environmentalists and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) may open the floodgates to challenges of the sufficiency of Environmental Assessments (EA) or Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for oil...more

D.C. Circuit Validates EPA’s Consultation Process for Reviewing Clean Water Act Permits

On July 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Enhanced Coordination Process,” which was developed with the United...more

Regulation – a help or a hindrance to the UK shale industry?

DESPITE significant public opposition in the UK to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and shale gas development, there has been a upswing of activity and announcements in the first half of 2014. In May, the British...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

How Untimely Service Can Be Deadly To Your Takings Claim

If you ask ten attorneys what keeps them up at night, at least six of them will recount nightmares about missing a filing deadline. I know what you're thinking. How hard can it be? You just look in the Code, find the...more

Shots Fired: PA Auditor General Releases Oil and Gas Audit

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office released a report criticizing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for failing to adequately track and respond to public complaints concerning water quality...more

Is Selenium the Coal Industry’s Kryptonite? Citizen Groups Obtain Summary Judgment Based on Water Quality Criteria Exceedances

Last week, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and other NGOs obtained summary judgment that Alex Energy had violated both its NPDES permit and its Surface Mining Permits due to exceedances of the West Virginia water...more

Industry Group Sues Compton for Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

The City of Compton is being sued for its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, effective on April 22, 2014. (Western States Petroleum Association v. City of Compton, et al., Case No.BC552272.) Although Compton is not...more

EPA Not Required to Consult on Air Quality Regulation Regarding Four Corners Power Plant

On July 23, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was not required to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding potential...more

Indiana I-69 Section 5 Availability Payment Project Closes Financing

On July 23, 2014, the Indiana Finance Authority closed financing on its second availability payment P3 project, the I-69 Section 5 highway project, a 21-mile reconstruction project located outside of Bloomington Indiana, the...more

Supreme Court Affirms in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community: Don’t Roll the Dice with Tribal Sovereign Immunity

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community is a reminder to a broad range of entities, including energy companies, financial service providers, and state and local governments, that...more

Sixth Circuit Weighs in on CERCLA Cost Recovery, Contribution Actions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court recently issued an important opinion related to claims to recover environmental cleanup costs at an Ohio landfill. The court’s ruling in Hobart Corporation, et al. v....more

Proposed Critical Habitat Rules Change Reach of the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have proposed two important new rules implementing the critical habitat provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 79 Fed.Reg. 27060 (May 12,...more

Community right to buy to be extended to urban areas Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill introduced on 11 June 2014

In November 2013 the Scottish Government published a consultation paper to which was annexed a draft "Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill". The consultation included proposals to extend the existing "community right to buy"...more

Faulty Notice of Hearing Not Enough to Stop Wal-Mart Supercenter

In Roberson v. City of Rialto, No. E058187 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist., May 21, 2014), the Fourth Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s judgment, upholding several project approvals for a new commercial retail center in...more

EPA Re-gains “Green Light” to Regulate Permitting Procedures - D.C. Circuit overturns lower court decisions on EPA permitting...

Two district court orders declaring the federal Environmental Protection Agency acted illegally when it implemented certain permitting procedures for coal mining operations have been vacated by a federal court of appeals....more

The Clean Power Plan: State Implementation Plans Building Block 2 – The Re-dispatch Option

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced proposed regulations (the “Clean Power Plan” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”)) to limit greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from existing...more

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