Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

As reported in a previous blog post, Earthjustice, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”), filed a lawsuit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) in May 2015. The...more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

Lack of Court Direction Requires Developers and Lenders to Estimate Their Own Significance Thresholds for GHG Emissions Past 2020

This June, the California Supreme Court heard the last set of oral arguments before breaking for the summer. Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments, 231 Cal.App.4th 1056 (2014)...more

Wyoming Federal Court Strikes Down BLM Fracking Rule

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in State of Wyoming et al v. U.S. Department if Interior et al. struck down Bureau of Land Management regulations applying to hydraulic fracking on federal and Indian lands. He...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s NEPA Analysis in Sabine Pass and Freeport LNG Projects

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected two related challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental review of the Sabine Pass LNG and Freeport LNG...more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

Distressed Download

Lessons from Sabine - In March, Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman held that Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. satisfied the standards for rejection of several gathering and handling agreements between Sabine and its midstream...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - U.S. Supreme Court allows pre-permit challenges to approved jurisdictional determinations - Allen Matkins - May 31 - In a major new legal development for the Clean Water Act's...more

Important Wetlands Permitting News: U.S. Supreme Court Allows Pre-Permit Challenges to Approved Jurisdictional Determinations

In a major new legal development for the Clean Water Act's Section 404 wetlands permitting program, landowners can now challenge the federal government's claim that areas targeted for fill are "waters of the United States"...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - In sharp reversal, California suspends mandatory water restrictions - New York Times - May 18 - The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Wednesday suspended its...more

Fourth District Rejects CEQA Challenges To Large Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project In Separate Published Opinions

In two opinions filed May 10, 2016 (one partially and the other fully published), the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected a number of CEQA and other challenges to a project proposing to pump 50,000 acre-feet of...more

Pennsylvania Court: Sublease of Production Rights Does Not Sever “Dual-Purpose” Oil and Gas Leases

In a published opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that utilization of the subject land for gas storage held production rights under a “dual-purpose” lease providing for both storage and production. See Loughman v....more

Washington tidal power license surrendered

U.S. hydropower regulators have accepted a Washington public utility district's application to surrender its license for an unconstructed tidal power project. Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, Washington...more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

Texas Groundwater Case Opens New Front in Regulatory Takings Claims

Water rights lawsuits are not new. But a recent ruling in Texas sets new precedent in the fight for groundwater. There, a Texas trial court recently awarded pecan farmers Glenn and JoLynn Bragg $2.5 million for their lost...more

FERC denies Oregon LNG project applications

U.S. energy regulators have denied applications to site, construct, and operate the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal, an associated pipeline and related facilities slated for development in...more

Supreme Court to Hear Appeals on Role of Tribunals in Duty to Consult

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted leave to appeal in two cases concerning the ability of a regulatory tribunal to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult. In Hamlet of Clyde River v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Community and environmental groups sue South Coast Air District over rules adoption - Los Angeles Times - Mar 9 - Community groups and environmentalists filed suit this week...more

Inflatable flashboards meet historic dam

A hydropower project in Lowell, Massachusetts won the right to replace wooden flashboards with an inflatable pneumatic crest gate system -- and now seeks to modify provisions requiring specific actions to mitigate impacts on...more

The Statute of Limitations Narrows a Bit More on PSD Violations: Sierra Club Suffers a Self-Inflicted Wound

The law is full of fine distinctions. Today’s example? A divided 10th Circuit panel affirmed dismissal of the Sierra Club’s citizen suit claims against Oklahoma Gas and Electric concerning alleged PSD violations at OG&E’s...more

“Waters of the U.S.” Rule Still Subject to Nationwide Stay, For Now

Would you consider this a “Water of the United States” subject to the Clean Water Act? Well think again, because under a new rule, even a dry streambed or channel could be considered a “Water of the U.S.” and thus...more

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard Decision Upholds Importance of Conservation Agreements

On March 1, the oil and gas industry won a significant victory when the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (“FWS”) decision that conservation agreements supported by the industry...more

Federal Court Refuses To Reinstate Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing: What Now, And What’s Next?

Last fall a federal court in the Western District of Texas upheld a challenge to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as a threatened species under the federal...more

The Fight to Stop the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” Continues in the D.C. Circuit, Amid an Uncertain Future for Its Presumed Ultimate...

On February 19, 2016, 27 states, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and over 150 different organizations and entities (the “Petitioners”) filed their joint Opening Brief on Core Legal Issues (the “Opening Brief”), related...more

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