Conservation

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Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Hits the Courts

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which involves the proposed twinning of the existing Edmonton-Burnaby pipeline and the expansion of a marine terminal, was the subject of a number of court decisions last year involving...more

DRECP: Federal Elements Proceed, State and Local Elements Deferred

Agencies’ adoption of a phased implementation approach raises questions about the coordination of state and federal efforts to meet energy and conservation goals....more

Agencies Modify Strategy with Desert Renewable Energy Plan Over Concerns From Local Agencies, Industry and Environmental Groups

Concerns from local agencies, industry, and environmental groups over the long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”)/Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan...more

SOX, the Destruction of Evidence And Dr. Seuss: Is a Fish A Tangible Object?

Section 1519 was passed as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the wake of Enron’s massive accounting fraud. The section was designed to fill a gap in the law by preventing corporate document-shredding to conceal evidence of...more

SCOTUS Rules No Felony for Throwing the Little Ones Overboard

The case, Yates v. United States, arose from a offshore inspection of a commercial fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. During the inspection, a federal agent found that the ship’s catch contained undersized red grouper, in...more

Renewable Energy Update - February 2015 #2

Renewable Energy Focus: Dianne Feinstein pushes California desert protection: The Desert Sun - Feb 10: The political landscape has changed, with Republicans now controlling both the House and Senate, but Democratic...more

Catch 22: “If You’re Moving Dirt, You Need to Control Your Dust” (But Don’t Use Potable Water!)

Returning from an Oregon vacation in this past Summer along I-5, I found frequent reminders of the extraordinary drought conditions prevailing across California. A grey smoky gloom blanketed the California-Oregon border from...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: High-speed rail project runs afoul of kit fox conservation requirements - Fresno Bee - Feb 2: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the California High-Speed Rail...more

Congress Passes Major Public Lands Package

For the first time in nearly six years, Congress passed a major package of public lands and natural resource bills, which was signed into law by President Obama on December 19, 2014. The package combined dozens of bills...more

Comments Sought on Draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

There are about two months left in the public comment period on the draft of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation plan released by regulators in December, according to The Desert Sun. As the article explains, the goal of...more

Swing, Pendulum, Swing: California's Historic Drought and Unprecedented Responses

Most know by now that California is facing one of its driest years in recorded history. Yet droughts are not new to California, and to put things in context we can be thankful that current drought conditions are only as bad...more

Florida's Amendment 1: Water and Land Conservation Funding Passed by Voters - The 20-Year Program Will Generate Almost $20 Billion...

Florida's Water and Land Conservation Initiative that dedicates billions of dollars to conservation over the next 20 years was ratified by the voters by a wide margin. Voters in all parts of the state and across the political...more

New Conservation Mandate Will Apply to Specialty Crops: Producers Must File by June 1, 2015

An overlooked provision in the new Farm Bill will soon be getting more attention from specialty crop farmers as they begin purchasing insurance for next year’s crops. Under “conservation compliance,” all producers must now...more

Indiana Property Tax Exemptions: Church Permitted To File Letter In Lieu Of Application; Trade Association Failed To Prove Split...

Church properly used letter of notification (and not official application) to claim exemption; previously granted exemption rolled forward. The Indiana Board of Tax Review applied a 100% property tax exemption to a church...more

The Water Values Podcast: Rolling Out AMI in San Francisco with Alison Kastama and Heather Pohl (Part 1) [Video]

Alison Kastama, a communication manager with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Heather Pohl, a project manager at SFPUC for the Automated Water Meter Program, join The Water Values Podcast for the...more

Comment Period Extended on Expansion of Critical Habitat Rules

The Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week that they are extending the deadline for comments on new critical habitat rules from July 11 to October 9, 2014. The...more

Department of Conservation Issues Revised, Proposed Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations

On June 13, 2014, the Department of Conservation (“Department”) issued a public notice and posted the latest version of the proposed regulations for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production (“Revised Proposed...more

RAD expansion and “Pay-For-Success” Utility Demonstration among the innovations included in the Senate’s mark of the T-HUD...

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its draft Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2015. While the bill generally falls short of the funding...more

Financial Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Determined By Reasonably Prudent Person

In SPRAWLDEF et al. v. San Franscisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, et al. (“SPRAWLDEF”)(certified for publication 5/28/2014), the First Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decision and held the San...more

SJC Upholds Charitable Property Tax Exemption for Land Conservation Organization

On May 15, the Supreme Judicial Court released its opinion in New England Forestry Foundation v. Hawley, ruling that a 120-acre parcel of forest land owned by the Foundation in the Town of Hawley was eligible for the...more

Finding Win-Win Outcomes For Conservation And Utilization

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or MSA, governs marine fisheries management in federal waters of the United States. The statute's purpose is to conserve and manage fisheries resources to rebuild...more

In Landmark Ruling, Massachusetts SJC Upholds Tax Exemption for Charitable Conservation Land

On May 15, 2014, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued a landmark decision, New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of Hawley, SJC-11432 (May 15, 2014), upholding the tax exempt status of...more

Massachusetts Land Trusts Breath a Collective Sigh of Relief: The SJC Rules That There Is No Requirement to Promote Public Access...

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today ruled that land trusts or other charities which own and preserve conservation land may take advantage of a state tax exemption on such land even if they do not affirmatively...more

Court Upholds Approvals for the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project

Trial Court Validates Agreements and Plans for Large Public-Private Water Project and Approves CEQA Review - The Orange County Superior Court last week issued rulings rejecting all six challenges to the environmental...more

Dry Times: How to Deal with the Impact of California’s Drought on Critical Commercial Agreements

On January 17, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a “State of Emergency” in California due to the severity of drought conditions across the State. Since then, the California drought continues to be severe and...more

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