Texas Environmental Update - November 14, 2012

by Bracewell LLP
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The environmental practice of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP offers seamless, front-rank representation in local, state, national, and cross-border regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters, as well as experienced counsel on the environmental aspects of transactions and operations across the country and around the world. We are dedicated to helping clients successfully navigate complex and costly environmental issues and to building longstanding client relationships founded on superior advice, integrity, and value. We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated community in Texas.

 BRACEWELL ALERTS & PUBLICATIONS

Top Energy and Environment Issues in the Wake of the 2012 Election
Bracewell & Giuliani Legal Blog, November 13, 2012
Regardless of the final result, one thing is certain: the debate that took place in the 2012 election cycle over energy and environmental issues was a diametrically different debate that the one that took place just four years ago. Cap-and-trade legislation? Nowhere to be seen or heard. Climate change? See cap-and-trade. Shale gas development? A [...]

Bracewell Analyzes Post-Election Prospects for Shale Gas Industry
Bracewell & Giuliani Energy Legal Blog, November 12, 2012
In a video interview following the 2012 elections, Bracewell's Salo Zelermyer (Policy Resolution Group) and Lowell Rothschild (Environmental Strategies Group) analyze the prospects for shale gas development in the United States. Their discussion focused on the full range of concerns that shale developers could face in the coming year, including: the role of job creation; [...]

Segal Analyzes Post-Election Energy and Environmental Issues
Bracewell & Giuliani Energy Legal Blog, November 9, 2012
 In a video interview following the 2012 elections, Scott Segal, head of the Bracewell & Giuliani's Policy Resolution Group, analyzed the prospects for energy and environmental issues following the 2012 elections. Scott's discussion focused on the regionalized nature of the election in battleground states; the close relationship between energy policy and job creation in battleground [...]

Will Decker Hobble Future Attempts at Clean Water Act Permit Streamlining?
Bracewell & Giuliani Energy Legal Blog, November 7, 2012
This session, the Supreme Court is hearing a case to which you probably hadn't paid much attention, even if you focus on environmental law - Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center. But you should, since Decker could significantly help - or hurt - future attempts by EPA to streamline the Clean Water Act permitting program [...]

TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Agendas & Work Sessions

Commissioners' November 14, 2012 Agenda Meeting Webcast
TexasAdmin.com

In the News:

Air

Editorial: Another Summer, Another Dallas-Fort Worth Ozone Failure
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 7, 2012
"For North Texas, another ozone season is behind us, another failure to meet federal clean air standards -- even under an old standard that we almost but didn't quite meet in 2009 and 2010."

Enforcement

TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $972,957
TCEQ Web Site, November 14, 2012
"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today approved penalties totaling $527,667 against 46 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations."

Regulatory Developments

What's New in TCEQ Rules
TCEQ Web Site, November 12, 2012

Water

With Drier Forecast, LCRA Staff Suggests Less Water Be Released for Rice Farmers in 2013
Austin American-Statesman, November 11,2012
"After a month of below-normal rainfall and under pressure from Central Texas officials and businesses, Lower Colorado River Authority staff members are recommending that the utility release less water in 2013 to downstream rice farmers than the current state-approved water plan requires."
EPA
EPA Could Use Clean Air Act Provision to Reduce Electricity Demand
Roll Call, November 13, 2012
"As the EPA prepares new regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants, some environmental groups are urging the agency to address the issue by reducing electricity demand through energy efficiency standards that could save ratepayers and utilities money."

Request for Information to Inform Hydraulic Fracturing Research Related to Drinking Water Resources


77 Federal Register 67361, November 9, 2012

Re-Election Greenlights Host of EPA Rules, Solidifies Regulation of Greenhouse Gases
Bloomberg BNA, November 8, 2012
"President Obama's re-election gives the green light to a host of air pollution and other pending environmental rules and will ensure that one of the president's few tools for curbing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions--Environmental Protection Agency regulations--will live on."

Operators May Be Caught Off Guard by Tank Battery Emissions Rules
MyWestTexas.com, November 7, 2012
"Thanks to unconventional resource plays like the Wolfberry and Bone Spring, Permian Basin oil and gas producers have significantly increased oil and gas production."

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Proposed Rule, Reopening of Comment Period; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revisions to the Regulations for Impact Analyses of Critical Habitat
77 Federal Register 66946, November 8, 2012

TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION
Christi Craddick Handily Wins Seat on Railroad Commission
MyWestTexas.com, November 7, 2012
"Former Midlander Christi Craddick was elected to the Railroad Commission Tuesday, winning the seat formerly held by Elizabeth Ames Jones by an 18-point margin with 85 percent of precincts reporting over Democrat Dale Henry."
OTHER TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS
Neighbors Set to Sue Hartman on Development
San Antonio Express-News, November 9, 2012
"Gordon Hartman is back in the development business, and his latest project that would turn a 527-acre ranch into a 1,493-house subdivision on the far Northeast Side is causing problems with the neighbors, who claim he is violating the Endangered Species Act and threatening San Antonio's water supply."
REPORTS
Ripe for Retirement: The Case for Closing America's Costliest Coal Plants
Union of Concerned Scientists Web Site, October 2012
"This report examines and evaluates the economic viability of our nation's remaining coal-fired electricity generating units."

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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