Zoning, Planning & Land Use Administrative Agency

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NEPA Review — Still the Land of Deference

Last week, District Judge Ralph Beistline allowed the summary judgment motion filed by the United States Forest Service, and dismissed citizen claims challenging the Forest Service decision to approve an logging project in an...more

San Francisco’s Airbnb Regulation Runs Into Enforcement Issues

A little over a month after San Francisco’s comprehensive home-sharing law went into effect, the City is already encountering a problem that threatens the effectiveness of the measure. The law, which allows residents to rent...more

Certificated Natural Gas Storage Capacity Is Based on Science Not Sales, FERC Rules

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the Commission) issued an order on Thursday, March 19, 2015, refusing to allow the abandonment of certificated working gas capacity when the reason for the request was unrelated to...more

California’s Class II Underground Injection Wells Subject to Increased Scrutiny

EPA sets new requirements and compliance deadlines for a stricter regulatory oversight program. On March 9, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a letter to the California State Water Resources Control...more

BLM Issues Final Rule Governing Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

On March 20, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the release of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule, titled, “Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands,” which BLM announced will...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Finding of Jurisdiction Over 4.8 Acres of Wetlands in Chesapeake, Virginia

On March 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the U.S. Corps of Engineers (Corps) had lawfully denied a permit to an applicant seeking to fill 4.8 acres of wetlands in order to build...more

D.C. District Court Denies Utility’s Intervention Because of Timing

On March 17, 2015, the D.C. District Court denied the Public Service Company of New Hampshire’s (PSNH’s) motion to intervene in a Sierra Club-initiated proceeding urging the U.S. EPA to object to a Title V permit for one of...more

The RAD cap is increased — now what?

Before a robust crowd at the recent Best of the West in Affordable Housing Development and Finance conference sponsored by Ballard Spahr and CSG Advisors in San Francisco, the value and evolution of the U.S. Department of...more

DRECP: Federal Elements Proceed, State and Local Elements Deferred

Agencies’ adoption of a phased implementation approach raises questions about the coordination of state and federal efforts to meet energy and conservation goals....more

Source Aggregation: Recent Court Decision Addresses Whether Certain Facilities are "Adjacent"

On February 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a decision finding eight compressor stations to be "separate sources" under the Clean Air Act and State of Pennsylvania regulations....more

What’s a Significant Nexus? The Answer, My Friend, Is Flowin’ Through the Ditch.

Even assuming that the “significant nexus” test from Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion in Rapanos defines waters of the United States subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction, the question remains what establishes a...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Nothing to report STATUS OF PREVIOUSLY REPORTED RULES COMPLIANCE DEADLINES For more information, see our mobile-friendly ENViromation Center, an online...more

HUD Clarifies How Davis-Bacon Applies to Project-Based Voucher and RAD Programs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently published a new notice pertaining to the applicability of Davis-Bacon labor requirements to housing considered to be “existing” housing under the...more

EU Passes Controversial Directive Concerning GMOs

On March 2, 2015, European Union (EU) Ministers approved a Directive previously approved by the European Parliament with regard to genetically modified organisms (GMO). ...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

MN PUC Denies Return on Cost Overrun for Xcel Nuclear Project

On Tuesday and Friday this week, the MN PUC heard arguments from various stakeholders regarding the Xcel Energy life cycle management and extended power uprate (LCM/EPU) projects. The stage for the arguments was set by the...more

Environmental Liability: Relief Through Bankruptcy Or Not?

In re Appalachian Fuel, LLC, 521 B.R. 779 (Bankr. E.D. Ky. 2014) – A state department of environmental protection (DEP) filed an administrative expense application in the bankruptcy cases of coal mining debtors for...more

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

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