National Environmental Policy Act

News & Analysis as of

Eagle Take Permit Program Revamped – Longer Permits and Clearer Mitigation Requirements

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) recently proposed revisions to its regulations authorizing take of bald and golden eagles. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“BGEPA”) imposes criminal and...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Draft 30-Year Programmatic Eagle Take Permit - Longer Permit Terms Welcome, But Certain Proposed...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on May 6, 2016, issued a draft rule that would extend to 30 years the maximum life of permits authorizing the incidental take of bald and golden eagles pursuant to the federal Bald...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Revamp of Eagle Permit Rule – What You Need to Know

On May 6, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (the Proposed Rule) to revise its 2009 rule establishing the requirements for issuance of permits for “non-purposeful take” of bald and...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Changes to Eagle Permit Regulations, Opens 60-Day Comment Period

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published notice in the Federal Register of proposed changes to its eagle permitting regulations (Proposed Rule). Concurrent with the Proposed Rule, the Service issued a...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Rule to Revise its Bald and Golden Eagle Regulations

On May 4, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a proposed rule titled Eagle Permits; Revisions to Regulations for Eagle Incidental Take and Take of Eagle Nests, which seeks to revise the Service’s bald and...more

Long Awaited Eagle Rule Revamp Out for Public Comment

On May 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published its proposed revisions to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“BGEPA”) permit program.  The stated intention of these proposed revisions is to...more

Privatization of the United States Air Traffic Control System Hits Roadblock in the U.S. Senate

Less than a month ago, it seemed clear that privatization was the wave of the future for the United States Air Traffic Control System (“ATC System”). On February 19, 2016, the United States House of Representatives...more

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...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

BLM Fights Back Against Activists’ Criticisms of CA Resource Management Plan

The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) recently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental activists who have challenged the BLM’s Resource Management Plan (“RMP”) for public lands...more

Court Holds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is Not Obligated to Ensure Migratory Bird Treaty Act or Bald and Golden Eagle...

On March 29, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) in a lawsuit involving the grant of a lease to Tule Wind, LLC for...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Navy Satisfied NEPA in Considering Terror Threat to San Diego Facility

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week rejected a claim under the National Environmental Policy Act that the Navy did not adequately consider the environmental consequences of a potential terrorist threat...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

Horse Of A Different Color: CEQA Does Not Require EIR Due To Psychological And Social Impacts From Closure Of Beloved Equestrian...

In a March 4, 2016 published opinion, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment requiring an EIR for a small 12-home rural subdivision project based on the “psychological and social” impacts of...more

USDA Environmental Policies Final Rule Clarifies NEPA Stance for RUS Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on March 2, 2016, issued a Final Rule on its Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR Parts 25, 1701, 1709, et al.) that will affect actions by four agencies within USDA,...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

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Formally Reinstates 5-Year Limit for Eagle Take Permits

On February 17, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) issued a final rule formally reinstating a five-year limit for eagle take permits. The final rule responds to an August 2015 ruling by the U.S. District Court...more

The Writing on the Wall Moves to the Federal Register: No 30-Year Take Permits

As we discussed last summer, the Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California ruled that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 30-year programmatic permit for incidental takes of bald and golden eagles from wind farms...more

Bills To Update Fire Safety Code Requirements For Assisted Living Facilities Pending In Florida Legislature

The Florida Assisted Living Facilities Act requires the State Fire Marshall to use the 1994 edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code to establish and enforce uniform fire safety standards...more

U.S. DOE Disclaims Jurisdiction Over Canadian Gas and Authorizes LNG Exports to Non-FTA Nations From Bear Head LNG Project

On February 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (“DOE/FE”) issued two orders to Bear Head LNG Corporation and Bear Head LNG (USA), LLC (together, “Bear Head LNG”), formally announcing DOE’s...more

USDA Declares “Do-Over” on Overhaul of Biotechnology Regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Animal and Plant Health Information Service (“APHIS”) is renewing efforts to amend or replace its existing rules governing plant-based biotechnology, while highlighting possible...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

U.S Fish and Wildlife Services Opts Not to Appeal 30-Year Eagle Rule Decision, Focuses on Development of Eagle Permitting Program

On January 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped its Ninth Circuit appeal of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s ruling that set aside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“Service”) rule to extend the maximum...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

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