Natural Resources

News & Analysis as of

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

New Water Law Will Affect Everyone Who Uses Water in Florida

On January 14, 2016, the officers of the Legislature presented CS/CS/SB 552 to Governor Scott for signature. More famously known as the "Water Bill," this 134-page page marvel of compromise proves that it is still possible to...more

Upgrading Energy Policy in 2016

In December, the House of Representatives passed, by a highly partisan vote, a substantial energy policy bill. When the legislation was first introduced, it had broad bipartisan support, but as amendments were added, the...more

Public Projects in Turmoil: The Saga Of The Bay Bridge, Delta Tunnels, and High Speed Rail Would Make A Compelling Reality TV Show

It took nearly twenty-five years for the Bay Bridge to become a reality and before the paint was even dry on the self-anchored suspension span questions had already been raised about the design and seismic safety of the...more

Putting a Price on Clean Air

There has been a lot of scholarly discussion in recent years about the importance of putting a price on natural resources. The pricing issue has been particularly in the limelight in connection with the drought in the...more

2015 ONRR Civil Penalties: Where, Why, and How Much

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (“ONRR”), a unit within the United States Department of the Interior, is responsible for collecting and disbursing revenues from energy production on federal and Indian lands and...more

Seeking Net Benefits: President Obama Issues New Federal Policy on Addressing and Mitigating Environmental Harm Early in the...

On November 3, 2015, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum intended to encourage federal agencies to consider land use planning more holistically, clearly and consistently, addressing mitigation needs before they...more

Presidential Directive Establishes New Compensatory Mitigation Policy, Expanding Future Costs and Obligations for Federally...

On November 3, 2015, President Obama directed key federal agencies to adopt new or more extensive compensatory mitigation policies over the next six to twenty-four months. Once implemented, these policies could block...more

Natural Resource Conservation Subject of White House Directive to Agencies

A recently released Presidential Memorandum will likely spur new policies related to development and natural resources, possibly impacting public agencies, developers and the like. “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources...more

Presidential Memorandum on Natural Resources Mitigation Policy: Avoid, Minimize and Compensate

President Barack Obama recently ordered the heads of five federal agencies (U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic...more

Coming Soon to a Project Near You: Advance Compensation

Earlier this month, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum on “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.” If that portentous title isn’t enough to make...more

As El Nino Looms, State Weighs Extension of Conservation Regs

Rains have begun to return to California as El Nino emerges from the Pacific Ocean. After four years of drought, water providers throughout the state have begun to question how state government should approach conservation...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

President Issues Memo regarding Mitigation of Natural Resources Impacts

On November 3, 2015, the President issued a memorandum entitled “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.” In it, he states “[t]his memorandum will encourage private...more

Presidential Memo Imparts “Moral Obligation” on Agencies to Mitigate Impacts of Natural Resource Development

On Tuesday, November 3, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum: “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment” (“Memorandum”). The Memorandum was sent to the...more

Administration Announces New Mitigation Policies

This afternoon, the Administration issued two policies intended to encourage private investment in natural resource conservation and to facilitate application of the mitigation hierarchy—avoiding, minimizing and compensating...more

FATF reports on emerging terrorist financing risks

FATF has published its report on emerging terrorist financing risks. It provides an overview of the various financing mechanisms and financial management practices used by terrorists and terrorist organisations. ...more

Satisfying State Compensatory Mitigation Requirements Under CEQA On Federal Conservation Lands: CDFW And BLM Agree To Cooperate To...

On October 2, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”) entered into a 12-page “agree[ment] to work with each other to conserve biological and natural resources on...more

Clean Power Plan Published; Appeals Period Begins

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register today, triggering a 60-day appeals period. Petitioners will have until December 22, 2015, to file appeals of the Clean...more

Governor Signs Amendments to SGMA, with Provisions for Water Utilities Regulated by CPUC

In the last two months, Governor Brown has signed several bills into law, amending the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA or the Act). Two bills, Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226, addressed the specifics...more

Federal Energy Legislative Update

There has been recent action in Congress on issues important to the oil and gas industry. This post provides an overview of the major energy-related bills in Congress. H.R. 538, the Native American Energy Act – On...more

Sonoran Desert Tortoise Not Endangered or Threatened Says FWS

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service determined on October 5, 2015 that the Sonoran Desert Tortoise, found primarily in Arizona, does not qualify as either an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered...more

Drought: Congressional State of Play at the End of the Fiscal Year

A number of proposals aimed at addressing the California drought were introduced this Congress. Two bills in particular, H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act, and S. 1894, the California Emergency...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

On Monday afternoon, 76 days after the new fiscal year (FY) began, Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) held a press conference to unveil the details of the new...more

Court Orders SEC to Implement Resource Extraction Rule

To review: On July 2, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the SEC’s resource extraction rules which were mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. Oxfam America then brought a suit against the...more

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