Zoning, Planning & Land Use Elections & Politics

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North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly had a full schedule this week, considering bills on everything from repealing the state’s cumbersome Map Act to voiding a law which required teachers to write Personal Education...more

As California Faces Mandatory Water Use Reductions, How Will the Construction Industry be Impacted?

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15, which imposes mandatory water use reductions for the first time in the history of California. The Executive Order, issued as the state enters its fourth...more

Initial Challenge to Clean Power Plan Receives Rocky Reception

Several states and Murray Energy Corp. (“Murray Energy”), supported by numerous intervenors and amici, presented oral arguments today before the D.C. Circuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed...more

Letter Urges Oil & Gas Wastewater Well Shut-Ins due to Risk of Groundwater Contamination; Regulators Stick to Rulemaking

On March 20, Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) wrote a letter to Governor Jerry Brown requesting that his administration immediately shut down approximately 2,500 underground injection wells. The letter was signed by...more

Maine considers nuclear energy law change

The Maine legislature is considering a proposal to amend state laws regarding the siting and construction of new nuclear power plants. The bill known as LD 1313, "An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Nuclear Power Generating...more

Groundwater Fees in Flux Following Recent Conflicting Proposition 218 Cases

With California in the midst of a record-breaking drought (as reported in a recent Allen Matkins legal alert, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order ordering mandatory actions to reduce California's water...more

N.C. General Assembly House Moves On Bill Eliminating Zoning Protest Petititons

A decision on whether and how to rezone property is left to the sound discretion and good judgment of the elected officials. The philosophy behind this thinking is that the decision to rezone or not to rezone is a...more

U.S. Climate Policy That Will Actually Matter in the Short Term

Lost in a series of higher-profile actions concerning his Administration’s climate change initiatives, President Obama’s Executive Order on Floodplain Management will have a profound impact on any future federally-funded...more

House Bill Would Block EPA From Vetoing Dredge And Fill Permits Issued By Army Corps Of Engineers, and Other Recent CWA...

House Bill Would Block EPA From Vetoing Dredge And Fill Permits Issued By Army Corps Of Engineers: On March 3, 2015, West Virginia's entire House of Representatives delegation re-introduced a bill that is intended "to stop...more

Georgia Governor Expected to Sign Overhaul to Soil and Water Commission (HB 397)

On Friday, March 27, 2015 the Georgia legislature passed HB 397, overhauling the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission (“Commission“). HB 397 is intended to curb the Commission’s independence and streamline its...more

N.C. State Senate Introduces Bill Granting Tax Credit for "Property" Serving Renewable Energy Efforts

Last week, the North Carolina State Senate introduced a bill that seeks to extend renewable-energy tax credits applicable to eligible property -- which is defined as specific "machinery and equipment or real property" -- that...more

Florida’s Solar Conundrum

Despite ranking third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, the "Sunshine State" is 13th in cumulative solar capacity installed (dreary New Jersey is 3rd). This is the result of a state without a renewable energy...more

Congressman Ed Whitfield Proposes Means for States to Avoid Compliance with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

On March 23, 2015, Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, released a discussion draft of the Ratepayer Protection Act of 2015 (the Act)....more

“21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act” Introduced in House

On March 26, 2015, House of Representatives Republican Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced a bill (H.R. 1667) to amend Section 4(b) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to require the Secretary of Interior to “make publicly...more

Legislature Approves $1 Billion Drought Spending Bills; Governor’s Approval Pending

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the California Senate and Assembly approved Assembly Bill 91 (“AB 91”) and Assembly Bill 92 (“AB 92”), both which are part of the Budget Act of 2015. The legislation allocates $1 billion...more

Legislature Approves $1 Billion Drought Relief Legislation; Governor Brown Expected to Sign

California Legislature Enacts Bill Package on Drought - On Thursday March 26, 2015, the California Legislature adopted legislation which it describes as allocating approximately $1 billion to emergency drought relief...more

Long-awaited regulations for fracking on federal land: what they mean for business

This client alert is part of an ongoing series by DLA Piper attorneys on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas production in the US and internationally....more

Interior Department Releases Final Rule Regulating Fracking on Federal and Tribal Lands

On Friday, March 20 the Obama Administration announced a final rule from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands. Key components of the rule, which will take effect in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown, top lawmakers unveil emergency drought legislation: Los Angeles Times - Mar 19: Governor Jerry Brown and top lawmakers from both parties announced Thursday a $1 billion...more

Obama Administration Releases Federal Fracking Regulations

Today, Friday, March 20, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), an agency within the Department of the Interior, published regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian lands.  The Final Rule becomes effective in...more

Energy Update - March 2015

This week marked the first policy deadline for policy bills. The Senate Energy and Environment Committee spent considerable time this week working through policy measures, including SF 1431 (Marty-D), the Senate Omnibus...more

Week in Review - March 2015 #3

Friday marked the first committee deadline and thus a flurry of activity at the Capitol to act favorably on bills in their respective policy committees. MNsure - When Governor Mark Dayton’s supplemental budget...more

Week in Review - March 2015 #2

Surplus - The state Republican Party has approved a “Give It All Back” ad campaign encouraging Gov. Dayton and the Legislature to return all of the projected $1.9 billion budget surplus to Minnesotans in the form of...more

Osceola County BCC to vote on Transportation Mobility Fee Ordinance on March 2015

The Osceola County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) is scheduled to vote on a proposed Mobility Fee Ordinance on March 16, 2015. Public officials have indicated that the proposal is likely to be enacted, with an effective...more

California Voters Left Holding the Bag in the Plastic Bag Ban Battle

The crown for the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags is up for grabs again. Late last year, the California legislature passed, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law, SB 270 — making California the first state to ban...more

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