Zoning, Planning & Land Use Environmental

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EPA Releases Revised Ozone NAAQS

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a prepublication version of a final rule establishing a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. The final rule lowers the primary and secondary...more

Operating a Well in California May Automatically Put You At Risk for a Prop 65 Lawsuit

California's Proposition 65 is notorious for its duty-to-warn requirement, which states that a business must give a clear and reasonable warning prior to exposing people to certain levels of any listed chemical. The warning...more

Sonoran Desert Tortoise Not Endangered or Threatened Says FWS

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service determined on October 5, 2015 that the Sonoran Desert Tortoise, found primarily in Arizona, does not qualify as either an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered...more

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part II – Proposed “Substance” and Major...

On September 18, 2015, I posted a “Part I” piece on the “efficiency improvements” category of OPR’s Preliminary Discussion Draft of its “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). This follow up post...more

BP has settled its Clean Water Act penalty claims, but important questions remain to be decided

The United States and BP lodged their proposed settlement of the remaining claims by the US in connection with the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill with the US District Court today. Comments to the Justice Department are...more

FERC Shares Best Practices for Stakeholder Outreach in Gas Project Permitting

The dramatic increase in domestic energy production over the past several years has resulted in the involvement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a wide range of interactions with the public and other...more

CEQA Guidelines Comments: Once In a Generation Chance

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) directs that certain proposed projects undergo environmental review to assess and mitigate significant environmental impacts. The CEQA Guidelines provide procedures and...more

Modernizing the Review Process or Just More Busy Work?

Those who have worked on the permitting and environmental review for a federally funded infrastructure project know the challenges that exist in coordinating with numerous agencies that may have oversight over a project. A...more

DEC Explains New Enforcement Initiative to the New York Oil and Gas Industry

On September 30, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a public information session regarding DEC enforcement of regulations relating to Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS), petroleum spills...more

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Blocking Enforcement of New BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming granted a motion for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recently issued hydraulic...more

CT Law of the Land

Week of September 23 - Limits of relief possible for Intervenor under CGS 22a-19 - In Hunter Ridge LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission Connecticut’s Supreme Court considered whether injunctive relief was available...more

Maine DEP Proposes Revisions to Site Law Rules

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing revisions to three chapters of its rules under the Site Location of Development Law (Site Law), the statute under which the DEP regulates projects of state...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Listings and Designates Critical Habitat Pursuant to 2011 Listing Settlement...

During the last week of its fiscal year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) made several findings under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) to meet its obligations under the 2011 listing settlement...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, September 2015

The 1st District Court of Appeal invalidated the use of a statutory exemption applicable to the State Lands Commission’s (SLC) approval of a land exchange. The land exchange related to the 8 Washington Street Project, which...more

U.S. District Court Rejects Challenges to Final Rule Terminating Sea Otter Translocation Program.

On September 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected the assertion by the California Sea Urchin Commission, California Abalone Association, and Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara...more

Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Question Of Unintentional “Take” Primed For Potential Fifth Circuit En Banc Or Supreme Court Review

Recently, industry won a major legal victory regarding liability—or lack thereof—for unintentional and indirect bird deaths under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Unfortunately, that victory could be short lived,...more

Senate Bill 350 Calls for Higher Renewables Portfolio Standard, Higher Energy Efficiency Targets, an Expanded System Operator, but...

As most of you know by now, Senate Bill (“SB”) 350, the much-chronicled and debated Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, passed out of the California Legislature and is currently awaiting signature by Governor...more

Development Update: Maine DEP Proposes Site Development Rule Changes

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a hearing on October 15th to receive comments on three rulemaking changes to the state’s site location of development rules (“Site Laws”).  Additional public...more

EPA's NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule: A Step Toward A Next Generation Compliance Strategy

The final rule strives to take advantage of information technology, allowing resources to be used more efficiently and effectively, and giving the EPA, states and the public better access to key data. Implementation will...more

SRBC Proposes Regulations to Authorize General Permits

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC or Commission) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on September 21, 2015 in which, among other things, the agency seeks to authorize general permits for projects that meet...more

First District Applies CEQA Exhaustion/Standing Rules, Upholds Judgment Rejecting Claim of Statutory Exemption for Controversial...

In a published decision filed September 17, 2015, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate and finding that a proposed land exchange agreement was not statutorily...more

Licensed to Fill: NJDEP Makes Virgin Material More Attractive for SRP Sites

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently renamed and revised its clean fill guidance, which now makes it clear that fill material obtained from a licensed quarry or mine may be used for site...more

$1-Billion Committed to Development of Quebec’s Mining, Hydrocarbon Industries

The Quebec government has recently announced that the Capital Mines Hydrocarbon fund (CMH Fund), the purpose of which is to acquire equity interests in mining and hydrocarbon projects in Quebec, is officially in effect. The...more

BB&K Files Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court in Threatened Santa Ana Sucker Case

A team of BB&K attorneys, working pro bono, garnered headlines this week for case of first impression. Best Best & Krieger LLP filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of two cities and 10 water agencies,...more

UK Shale Gas - Going all out for Shale

As part of a package of measures to kick-start the shale gas industry in the UK, the UK government issued a joint Written Statement by DECC and DCLG on 16 September 2015 containing a new shale gas and oil policy. This policy...more

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