Natural Resources

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

EPA Lays Out Its Vision for the Future of the RCRA Regulatory Program

Enacted in the bicentennial year of 1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is approaching its 40th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, and to lay a path forward for the future of the RCRA program, EPA...more

Zinc: It's Not Just for Lifeguards

Minerals Make Life - an initiative created by the National Mining Association - has recently developed an infographic explaining the importance of the mineral zinc....more

What Remains of Act 13 in Pennsylvania after Robinson? Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Strikes Further Provisions of Act 13 as...

Earlier this year, we reported in our Client Alert dated January 15, 2014, on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013). In Robinson, the Supreme Court...more

Alaska Department of Natural Resources Seeks Comment on Precedent-Setting Instream Flow Water Right

Instream flow rights can be controversial among consumptive water users because they decrease the legally available supply of water for other uses that may arise in the future. Conversely, instream flow rights are often...more

Did an Ohio Spill Expose a Leak in Ohio’s Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Laws?

After a recent accident at an Ohio unconventional drilling site, Governor Kasich expressed concern about the state’s fracturing-fluids-disclosure laws. The June accident spilled chemicals ­– including the drilling company’s...more

Will the Commerce Department’s Approval to Export Condensate Change the World?

The reporting in late June of the Commerce Department’s private rulings that authorized two companies to export condensate has ignited discussions regarding the real prospect of changes in U.S. oil export policy. Industry...more

Environmental Alert: "EPA's Inspector General Says EPA Must Improve Efforts regarding Methane Emissions from Pipelines"

On July 25, 2014, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines.” In this report, OIG cited President Obama’s Climate...more

Congress Moves to Assist Renewable Development on Government Land

Congress recently considered three bills intended to facilitate renewable energy development on federal lands. On July 29, the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources considered H.R....more

Court Provides Guidelines on Valuing Natural Resources in Eminent Domain Proceedings

Valuing mineral rights in eminent domain proceedings is inherently speculative and can lead to wide swings in property valuations. So how do appraisers best deal with the uncertainty involved in mineral exploitation? The...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

Regulatory Activity - EPA TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON CLEAN POWER PLAN - This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold public hearings in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh to...more

Provincial Jurisdiction Confirmed Regarding Treaty Rights – Supreme Court of Canada’s Keewatin Decision

In Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48 (Decision), also known as the Keewatin Decision, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) confirmed that provinces have the power to take up treaty lands for...more

Colorado Supreme Court Clears Ballot Initiative Aimed at Bolstering Local Control of Oil and Gas Drilling

On June 30, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2013–2014 #89[1] (Initiative 89). In affirming the finding of the state’s Ballot Title Setting...more

Exports of Lightly Refined Natural Gas Condensate Approved by Federal Agency

On June 24, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of Commerce issued two advisory opinions (AOs) allowing for the export from the United States of what was reported to be “unrefined” oil. The...more

Capital Thinking: Energy

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY - SENATE ENR COMMITTEE VOTES TO APPROVE FERC NOMINEES, KEYSTONE XL BILL - On Wednesday, June 18, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a business meeting in executive...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

REGULATORY ACTIVITY - EPA APPROVES NEW MEASUREMENTS FOR OZONE - In significant news for entities attempting to maintain or attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs), the Environmental Protection...more

The Wind River Reservation Treatment-as-State Controversy: How Confusion Undermines Opportunities for Cooperative Governance

Under certain statutes, tribes can exercise civil jurisdiction over non-Indians. For instance, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act allows tribes to pursue claims for natural resource...more

Congress and Industry Want Resource Extraction Rules Finalized

In 2013 the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the SEC resource extraction disclosure rules that were mandated by Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Fifty-eight Democratic lawmakers have...more

EU Timber Regulations - How Robust Are Your Due Diligence Systems?

Whilst the European Timber Regulation dates back to 2010, it only took direct effect in Member States last year. Amongst other things, it requires operators to ensure they have due diligence systems in place to properly...more

New Disclosures Required Regarding Subsurface Rights In Florida

On May 12, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law CS/CS/CS/HB 489, regarding subsurface rights disclosures. The bill creates a new Section 689.29, Florida Statutes. Beginning October 1, 2014, a seller of residential...more

SMARA Amendments Moving Forward in State Senate

SB 1270, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), survived the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water on April 29, 2014 by a 7-2 vote. ...more

Congressional Questions on LNG Exports Could Impact the Jones Act

Last month, Congress began consideration of comprehensive legislation to reauthorize the Coast Guard and other maritime transportation programs. Consideration of such legislation is an annual occurrence and generally moves...more

Trade & Manufacturing Alert - May 2014

In This Issue: - United States And Japan Hit Bumps On The Road To TPP Agreement - Senate Commerce Committee Passes Manufacturing Bill - WTO Panel Finds China's Export Restraints On Rare Earth Minerals Violate Trade...more

House Natural Resources Committee Sends Four ESA Reform Bills To The House Floor

After a heated markup hearing on Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee voted to send four bills that would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. ...more

SEC Deadline for Conflict Minerals Rule Fast Approaching

Companies have until May 31, 2014 to comply with the conflict-minerals provisions of the Dodd-Frank law (Section 1502). Enacted in response to U.S. concern about funding violent activities in the Democratic Republic of the...more

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