Department of the Interior

News & Analysis as of

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

Well Control Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) has released its final Well Control Rule for off-shore rigs (“Rule”). The Rule is intended to reduce the risk of an offshore blowout,...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (April 2016)

The new year brought with it several noteworthy developments in the fracking world. These include: a new lawsuit in connection with the Keystone Pipeline; legal action against the Department of Interior (“DOI”) Federal Bureau...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

Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing Issued by Secretary Jewell

On January 15, 2016, Interior Secretary Jewell halted federal coal leasing on public lands. Western coal companies are attempting to sort out the implications of the moratorium and exemptions set out in Secretarial Order...more

Suspension of coal leasing

The United States Department of the Interior has announced a temporary suspension of coal leasing on public lands pending a comprehensive review of the federal coal program by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Public...more

Interior's Proposed Rule on Flaring Would Restrict Oil and Gas Development on Tribal Lands

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), on Jan. 22, 2016, proposed a rule developed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that would limit the flaring, leaking and venting of natural gas on public and tribal lands....more

Department of the Interior Releases Proposed Rule to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas

Advances in oil and gas production technology, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have dramatically increased the production of oil and gas in the United States by unlocking shale gas and other resources...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (January 2016)

With most state legislative sessions in recess and federal legislative action unlikely until after the November 2016 election, it was no surprise that there were only a handful of new developments in the fracking world during...more

Department of the Interior Announces Comprehensive Review of Federal Coal Program

On January 15, Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the Department of the Interior will launch a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program. During the review, which is...more

US Suspends Coal Leasing on Federal Lands

Legal challenges to moratorium likely as US Department of Interior considers reforms. On Friday, January 15, 2016, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the US will “pause” federal coal...more

New Right-of-Way Regulations on Indian Lands

Every once in a while, infrastructure projects we’re working on involve traversing Indian lands. For those of you involved in such projects, you should take a look at the Final Rule published by the Department of the...more

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