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Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – February 26, 2015

This term resulted in two cases which, in our opinion, affect Virginia local government law.  One, decided by order, deals with the effect of a failure to name a necessary party (a governing body) in appealing a BZA decision....more

District Court Rejects Challenge to Wind Farm Permitting, Finds No Violation of ESA or Eagle Protection Act

This month a federal court in Maine rejected a challenge to a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) for the Oakfield wind power project. The court determined that the Army Corps did not violate the...more

State Oil and Gas Laws v. Local Control: The Struggle Continues in Ohio

On February 17, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court announced its ruling in The State Ex Rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corporation et al. That closely-watched case addressed whether local ordinances that impact drilling operations...more

EPA Environmental Appeals Board Upholds $600,000 RCRA Penalty

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) has upheld the results of an EPA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) enforcement action involving hazardous waste storage that was...more

Failure to Describe Project Changes Results in 180-Day Statute of Limitations for CEQA Challenge (Ventura Foothills Neighbors v....

Why it matters: When a project’s subsequent CEQA documents fail to clearly provide public notice of material changes to a project, CEQA’s short statutes of limitation may not apply....more

Enforcement undertakings may be available for environmental permitting offences as early as 6 April 2015

On 15 December 2014, the Government laid draft Regulations before Parliament which introduce enforcement undertakings in respect of environmental permitting offences. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the draft Environmental...more

Development Of Brackish Groundwater For Hydraulic Fracturing Operations: Regulatory And Policy Issues

A. The Brackish Groundwater Resource Opportunity. According to the Texas Water Development Board (“TWDB”), more than 2.7 billion acre-feet of brackish groundwater exists within the State of Texas. Texas has numerous...more

Municipal Legal News - Volume 1 Number 1

Major Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") Amendments - Public Act 563 of 2014 ("Act 563") amends the FOIA to impose a number of new regulations on public bodies. All municipalities will need to review their FOIA...more

Federal Court Remands Renewable Energy Project for Additional Explanation; Delay Ensues

Last week, a federal district court in Nevada ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) failed to adequately explain a decision to authorize a proposed wind energy project. The...more

How CEQA’s Administrative Record Preparation Process Could Be Reformed By Eliminating CEQA Petitioners’ Statutory Option To...

I recently analyzed proposed legislation (SB 122) seeking to create an alternative procedure for preparation of the CEQA administrative record concurrently with administrative proceedings on a project and prior to any...more

California Land Use Lawyer: Will We See CEQA Reform In 2015?

In terms of land use regulations that have far-reaching effects on development in California, the application - or misapplication - of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is near the top of the list. CEQA, when...more

New Proposed Rule on Valuation of Oil & Gas and Coal Leases

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue of the Department of the Interior recently issued a proposed rule to change the valuation process for the payment of royalties for oil and gas produced from Federal onshore and offshore...more

Déjà Vu All Over Again: CLF and CWRA Try Once More to Get EPA to Regulate Stormwater Discharges to the Charles River

In 2008, EPA made a preliminary determination to use its residual designation authority (RDA) under the Clean Water Act to designate stormwater discharges from two or more acres of impervious surfaces in the Lower Charles...more

Procedures Introduced to Administer and Coordinate First Nation Consultation

On February 4, 2015, the Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released the Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities (Procedures). ...more

Clean Water Environmental Issues for 2015

There are a handful of legal and regulatory issues on the horizon in 2015 that are worth watching. Some of these issues, like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Cooling Water Rule and the U.S. Army Corps of...more

Vape and Mirrors: The Legal Issues Concerning e-Cigarettes for Municipalities

In this Presentation: - Introduction - Overview - What are e-cigarettes? - Emerging Market - Food and Drug Administration - California Law - Other State Laws - Potential...more

ALJ Recommends MN PUC Partially Disallow Xcel Energy’s $400 Million Cost Overrun on Monticello Project

Today marked the release of the highly anticipated report and recommendations from the Administrative Law Judge tasked with reviewing Xcel Energy’s handling of the life cycle management and extended power uprate (LCM/EPU)...more

Fairfax Circuit Court Limits Homeowners’ Ability to Challenge Zoning Administrator

Contentious land use approvals often result in lawsuits, which, even when unsuccessful, can lead to costly delays for developers. In the recent case styled In Re: November 20, 2013 Decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals of...more

MassDEP Finalizes Underground Storage Tank Regulations

MassDEP’s new regulations governing Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) became effective January 2, 2015.  MassDEP took responsibility for USTs from the Department of Fire Services in 2009 and initially relied on existing...more

MEPA Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Policy Available for Public Comment

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is accepting public comments on its proposed draft Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Policy...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - January 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: U.S. Supreme Court keeps in place protections for California's delta smelt - The U.S. Supreme Court last week kept in place environmental orders in California that protect the...more

CT Law of the Land

Week of January 12 - On January 7, 2015, the Planning & Zoning Section of the Connecticut Bar Association met in Cromwell, CT with special guest Judge Marshall Berger. The main focus of the meeting was Practice Book...more

2015 Texas Legislative Session Includes Twin Bills Concerning Municipal Fracking Bans

With the opening of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature on January 13, 2015, two of the more closely watched bills in the energy arena will be House Bill 539 (HB539) and House Bill 540 (HB540). HB539, filed on December...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Psychological Harm Theory in Deer-Culling Case

This Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion in No. 13-5136, Grunewald v. Jarvis, affirming the lower court’s decision that the National Park Service’s promulgation of the White-Tailed Deer Management Plan was lawful. At...more

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda - January 2015

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s January 22, 2015 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on January 15, 2015. Agenda items E-6 and E-19 have not been summarized...more

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