Department of the Interior

News & Analysis as of

Maximum Civil Penalties for Violations of Environmental, Health and Safety Laws Substantially Increased by EPA, OSHA and DOI to...

On August 1, 2016, maximum civil penalties imposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) increased significantly pursuant to interim final rules these...more

Departments of Energy and Interior Announce New Collaborative Strategy to Grow the Offshore Wind Industry

On Sept. 9, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Interior jointly announced their collaborative plan, the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in...more

Federal and State Wildlife and Natural Resources Managers Collaborate on Historic Conservation Agreement

The WilmerHale Energy, Environment and Natural Resources group was proud to represent Newmont Mining in working with state and federal entities, among other stakeholders, to develop a historic 1.5-million-acre voluntary,...more

Kitty Hawk NC offshore wind leasing

The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed leasing federal ocean space offshore North Carolina for commercial offshore wind development. On August 12, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced a proposed...more

Another Step Toward North Carolina Offshore Wind: Proposed Offshore Wind Farm Lease Announced

The U.S. Department of the Interior has just announced the next step in the years-long process toward the development of wind energy facilities off the coast of North Carolina. In a notice published in the Federal Register...more

Three Reasons BOEM’s Updated Financial Assurance and Risk Management Requirements Are Unenforceable

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has finally issued its promised Notice to Lessees (NTL) No. 2016-N01, “Requiring Additional Security,” which supersedes NTL No. 2008-N07, “Supplemental Bond...more

Court Decisions Define the Future for Tribal Gaming

Definitions and syntax. Not only on middle school quizzes, but also what determined the fate of the Mashpee Wampanoag and Cowlitz tribal casinos in Massachusetts and Washington, respectively. Two federal court decisions...more

Many Big Announcements for the UAS Industry and its Safety and Privacy Initiatives

The commercial drone industry is projected to generate over $82 billion for the U.S. economy and over 100,000 new jobs by 2025. Last week, at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) “Workshop on...more

ONRR Expands Civil Penalty Liability for Federal and Indian Mineral Lessees

The Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (“ONRR”) accounts for and collects royalties owed on production from federal and Indian mineral leases onshore and on the Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”). ...more

Be Prepared: Civil Penalties to Rise Starting August 1

Effective August 1, OSHA, EPA and the Department of the Interior, among other federal agencies, are raising the ranges of civil penalties assessed under their respective programs. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation...more

Arbitration award on tribal igaming with non-US players

An arbitration award by a sole arbitrator recently approved a submission by the State of Oklahoma and the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma as to the legality of internet gaming in which the server is located on Indian lands in Oklahoma...more

DC Circuit Judge Rogers Delivers 3 Important Administrative Rulings in 1 Day

July 15 was a busy day at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as five important decisions werethree issued. What was remarkable and worth noting is that Judge Judith Rogers, a member of the court...more

OSHA, EPA and DOI Increase Maximum Civil Penalties

This summer, many federal agencies increased civil monetary penalties as much as 150 percent in response to new legislation mandating that federal agencies "catch up" with inflation and remedy past government failures to...more

Court Holds that Stale Permits May Automatically Terminate if Permitting Laws are Not Faithfully Followed

On July 7, the U.S. District Court for Alaska decided the case of Castle Mountain Coalition, et al., v. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, alaskaholding that a mining permit issued under the Surface Mining...more

Regulating Exploration on the Arctic OCS: Interior Finalizes Rules for Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer...

On July 7, almost a year and a half after the proposed rules were published, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - South Coast AQMD plan would fight smog mainly through incentives, not rules - Los Angeles Times - Jun 30 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District's draft Air Quality...more

Controversy Over Interior’s Trust Authority in Alaska Remains Unresolved

A majority panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently dismissed the State of Alaska’s challenge to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s authority to acquire land in trust for Alaska...more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

New ICWA Regulations Issued

On June 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued new final regulations governing state court and agency child custody proceeds involving Indian children. The new regulations were formulated to ensure uniform...more

NEPA Does Not Require An Agency To Guarantee Project Compliance with Environmental Laws

In an interesting decision last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to BLM’s decision to issue a right-of-way permit for Tule Wind’s plan for a wind farm southeast of San Diego. It’s not exactly...more

U.S. Offshore Wind: Mid-Year Update

Several speakers at the recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual conference in New Orleans lauded the positive impact of Congress's extensions of the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) in...more

Tribal Groundwater Resources – Management Considerations Under Current Law

In the arid southwest, water is the most important and precious natural resource. In some communities, groundwater is the primary source, and often sole source, of water for domestic, agricultural irrigation, industrial, and...more

New Offshore Well Control Regulations Unveiled to Mixed Reviews

The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced final well control regulations for offshore drilling last week. The rules will purportedly make offshore drilling safer and...more

Interior Releases Final Rule for Blowout Prevention Systems and Well Control in Offshore Drilling Operations

On April 14, 2016, the Department of the Interior (DOI), through the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), released a final rule establishing requirements for certain offshore oil and gas drilling,...more

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell: No Drilling in Atlantic Ocean

In a major reversal of the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program announced by the Obama administration on January 28, 2015, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced yesterday that the U.S. government...more

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