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MassDEP Rolls Out Third-Party Inspection Program Beginning January 2015

MassDEP’s 2014 reforms to the solid waste regulations include new requirements for third-party inspections of solid waste facilities. These changes reflect an effort by MassDEP to privatize the inspection and policing...more

Continuing Efforts to Ban Single-Use Plastic Carrier Bags In Massachusetts And Beyond

Over the last several years, a number of municipalities across the nation have passed ordinances imposing bans, fees, and/or taxes on single-use plastic carrier bags distributed by retailers. In the most recent 188th...more

FERC revokes hydro license over fish passage

What happens when the owner of a federally licensed hydroelectric project fails to build the fish passage facilities required by its license? In the recent case of the East Juliette Hydroelectric Project in Georgia, the...more

State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues. This year’s Environmental...more

Army Corps of Engineers Abandons New England General Permit - October 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, has decided to discontinue its plan for a regional general permit for activities within its jurisdiction that would have covered all six New England states. In 2013, the...more

Uncertainty Prevails as Illinois Delays a Decision on Fracing Regulations

Last week, Illinois’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted to push back its decision about whether to approve proposed rules governing horizontal fracturing operations until November 6. The delay promises to fuel...more

WVDEP Adopts Modified Aboveground Storage Tank Interpretive Rule

In the latest development relating to West Virginia’s new aboveground storage tank (“AST”) legislation, yesterday afternoon the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) filed with the West Virginia...more

City of Pittsburg, CA moves forward on controversial Donlon Blvd. Project

The Contra Costa Times reported last week that the City of Pittsburg certified the environmental document for the Donlon Boulevard extension after nearly two decades of trying. Although the vote was unanimous, the project...more

California’s High Speed Rail Project. Are We Done With the Drama?

Proponents of California’s high-speed rail project cleared a major hurdle this past week when the California Supreme Court declined to review a California Court of Appeals ruling which held that the state’s funding plan did...more

D.C. Department of Environment Proposes Higher Stormwater Management Fees - Proposed Increases Are Based on Outdated Data and May...

The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) recently announced proposed increases to its fees established under the new Stormwater Management, Soil Erosion, and Sediment Control Regulations (Stormwater Rules). The...more

OPIC Issues Its First Green Guaranties – An Innovative Financing Program - The Guaranties Are Intended to Bridge the Gap Between...

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has issued its first "Green Guaranties" to provide financing for a project considered to be in alignment with Green Bond Principles. The U.S. government's development...more

Aboveground Storage Tanks: New Interpretive Rule and Draft Emergency Rule

By the time you are reading this, the October 1 deadline to register all aboveground storage tanks (“ASTs”) in West Virginia has passed, and the world is still turning. If you have not yet registered your ASTs, it is still a...more

Environmental Groups Seek to Derail Bakersfield Crude-by-Rail Project

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit challenging Kern County’s approval of the first substantial oil-by-rail expansion project at a California refinery, alleging that the comprehensive Environmental Impact...more

Court Dismisses Request That NEB Review Upstream and Downstream Effects of Pipeline

On May 16, 2014, the National Energy Board received a motion from the City of Vancouver, among others, requesting that the List of Issues for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project hearing be expanded to include environmental...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Environmental groups fight Southern California tar sands oil project: Courthouse News Service - Oct 13: Kern County illegally approved expansion of a local refinery that will let it...more

EPA Draft Ruling Could Mean Significant Changes to How Stormwater Systems are Categorized

The last thing that public agency leaders want to hear is that looming changes may make operating and building new public infrastructure more challenging and expensive. Unfortunately, proposed changes by the Environmental...more

Update on the California High Speed Rail System

James Andrew, Assistant Chief Counsel for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”), spoke Tuesday, October 14, at the Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section Luncheon. He stated that High-Speed...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Army Corps Drops Regional Permit - The Army Corps has announced that it has abandoned the idea of establishing a regional general permit for the New England states. The proposal would have replaced the individual...more

Real Estate and Land Use - October 2014

Accepting a Permit “Under Protest” Does Not Work in the Coastal Zone - (Lynch v. California Coastal Commission (2014) 229 Cal. App. 4th 658): Why it matters: Lynch v. California Coastal Commission firmly dispels the...more

Fall 2014 CEQA Roundup: Legislative and Regulatory Developments

A number of recent legislative and regulatory developments in or related to CEQA will impact public agencies, developers, and practitioners in the coming year. Some significant recent developments include: SB 743...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Re-Opens Comment Period for Cuckoo Under Pressure from Congress

Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it will re-open the public comment period on its proposal to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for the western population of yellow-billed...more

EPA Comments Suggest Emphasis on Creativity and Internalizing Externalities in Climate Strategy

The American Bar Association's Section of Energy, Environment and Resources held its Fall Conference last week. Noteworthy from a climate perspective were the keynote address by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator...more

B.C. Supreme Court Upholds Recurring Short-Term Water Use Approvals

The B.C. Supreme Court has recently clarified the interpretation of section 8 of the B.C. Water Act. Section 8 relates to the power of the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) to grant approvals to oil and gas companies for the...more

Suit by Denton, Texas, Royalty Interest Owners Could be Harbinger of More Suits If Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Passes

Ahead of the November 4th vote that could make it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, the City of Denton has been sued by a group of royalty interest owners claiming that the city’s current temporary ban...more

Oil & Gas Law Alert: SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations - Second Revised Text of Proposed Regulations

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, the California Department of Conservation ("Department") issued public notice of the Second Revised Proposed Regulations for SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations ("Second Revised...more

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