Environmental Review

News & Analysis as of

North Carolina Legislative Report

Lawmakers will return to Raleigh for the short session April 25, 2016. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed on a bi-weekly basis during the interim to keep you up to date on the...more

For Virginia Land Use, Local Governments Have To Follow The Rules

Starting July 1, 2016 Virginia local governments must, in reviewing a residential rezoning or concept plan amendment, determine whether a requested land use exaction addresses an impact that is “specifically attributable” to...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Justices suggest support for landowners in wetlands case - Bloomberg - Mar 30 - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled in oral argument this week...more

NY offshore wind zone announced

U.S. ocean energy regulators are advancing plans to lease sites off New York for potential commercial wind energy development. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's designation of a Wind Energy Area could...more

Timing Is (Almost) Everything: FERC Implements D.C. Circuit Guidance on NEPA Review of Multiple Pipeline Construction Projects

In the wake of two recent D.C. Circuit decisions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has begun to implement its new policy concerning the review of natural gas pipeline construction proposals under the National...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative long session on January 14 and adjourned September 30. Lawmakers will return to Raleigh for the short session April 25, 2016. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on...more

Maryland Environmental Reporting Regulations On Hold For Now

Property owners and developers in Maryland have dodged another bullet, at least for now, with respect to their environmental reporting obligations. On October 31, 2014, the Maryland Department of Environment (“MDE”) proposed...more

No Issuance of Federal Offshore Fracking Permits Until May 2016

On January 29, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”), agencies within the federal Department of the Interior (“DOI”), agreed to put a temporary...more

The FAST Act Seeks to Streamline the Environmental Review of Infrastructure Projects

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act—a five-year, $305-billion transportation authorization and spending bill. The FAST Act largely focuses on funding...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

Congress Enacts Federal Permitting Improvements to Speed Infrastructure Projects

Congress enacted the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, also known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (the FAST Act) on December 4, 2015. A part of the FAST Act, Title XLI—Federal...more

Environmental Provisions of the FAST Act

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the “Fix America’s Surface Transportation Act,” Public Law 114-94 ("FAST Act"). As finally enacted, the FAST Act exceeds 400 pages in length. This paper reviews those...more

California Supreme Court Addresses the Reverse CEQA Problem

CEQA Does Not Require Agencies to Consider the Impact of Existing Conditions on Future Project Users — Except in Certain Circumstances - Under what circumstances, if any, does the California Environmental Quality Act...more

Will FAST Act Make Permitting Faster? Streamlining Offered for Infrastructure Projects

The new federal highway funding legislation, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 4, 2015, provides long-term funding certainty for surface transportation...more

Supreme Court Reaffirms Scope of CEQA Analysis in California Building Industry Association (CBIA) v. Bay Area Air Quality...

On December 17, 2015, a unanimous California Supreme Court reaffirmed that environmental analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) should be concerned with a project's impact on the environment, not the...more

New Law Streamlines Federal Permitting and Environmental Review Processes

Major infrastructure developers received a notable holiday gift from Capitol Hill and the White House earlier this month with the December 4, 2015 enactment of the Highway Authorization Act. Title XLI of the Act promises to...more

SHE Matters: The Medium Combustion Plant Directive

Ambitious new emission limits are to be introduced for medium combustion plants such as electricity generators and heating systems via the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (the Directive). This Directive has been fast...more

If A Tree Falls In The (Urban) Forest … Does CEQA Apply? Sixth District Holds City Of Santa Cruz’s Amendment Of Tree Protection...

When California local governments stretch their resources too far to regulate private conduct and property rights in the name of environmental protection, CEQA can make it quite onerous to undo what has been done. And one can...more

Denmark Posts Several Publications Concerning Nanomaterials

On November 10, 2015, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency posted the following publications concerning nanomaterials: - Environmental assessment of nanomaterial use in Denmark: This is the concluding report of the...more

To Mitigate or Not to Mitigate: No Longer a Question for Environmental Reviews?

Even the casual college football observer has probably seen by now the wild final play of the Duke-Miami game on October 31. After the game ended, it was determined that Miami literally stole the win as a result of referee...more

Electronic Reporting to be the NPDES Rule

After a lengthy public notice and comment period, the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Electronic Reporting Rule was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015, and will become...more

Are Regulatory Delays Exacerbating Drought Conditions?

As we enter the fall season, substantial portions of California and the Pacific Northwest are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. While conditions are better in Texas and other nearby states this year,...more

Renewable Energy Update - October 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown authorizes streamlined groundwater: Allen Matkins - Oct 13: On Friday, October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed a suite of bills that has the potential to significantly...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Nationwide stay of EPA/Army Corps "Waters of the U.S." rule issued by Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals: Allen Matkins - Oct 9: The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a nationwide...more

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