National Environmental Policy Act

News & Analysis as of

Securing Rights-of-Way to CO2 Pipeline Corridors in the United States

In the previous article in this series The Future of Carbon Dioxide Injection EOR in the United States, we discussed the sources and cost of CO2 supply for enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”) in the United States and the benefits...more

Dakota Access Pipeline: Down but Not Out

On Dec. 4, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not decide on Dakota Access LLC’s easement application until the Corps prepares an environmental impact statement. The decision is significant in that...more

FERC Rejects Sierra Club’s Request for Rehearing and Green Lights $3.5B LNG Export Facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana

On November 23, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) confirmed its authorization of the construction of a $3.5 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana and rejected the...more

Environmental Groups Sue Federal Agencies Again in Unending Legal Battle Over Offshore Oil Development

On November 11, 2016, the Environmental Defense Center (“EDC”) and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper jointly filed suit against several federal agencies including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and...more

TVA’s Tree-Cutting Policy Gets the Axe

On November 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided the case of Sherwood, et al. v. Tennessee Valley Authority. The Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s ruling that a complaint filed by many...more

The Department of Energy’s Simplified IIP Process Goes Into Effect in November

On November 28, 2016, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) simplified Integrated Interagency Pre-Application (IIP) Process will go into effect. The IIP is a voluntary, pre-application process intended to streamline and...more

Infrastructure Gets Top Billing from President-Elect Trump

President-Elect Trump’s election night statement specifically called out infrastructure, above all other domestic policy concerns, as a focus of his new Administration. Despite some initial rumblings from the conservative...more

Trump’s Impact on Environmental Law? Let the Speculation Begin!

What will a Trump Presidency mean for environmental law? I’m not sure my crystal ball if better than anyone else’s, but here are a few quick thoughts...more

North Carolina Federal Court Gives Go Ahead for Shooting Range on Public Land

The U. S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina recently upheld approval by the U.S. Forest Service (“USFS”) of a recreational shooting range in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest. The case is...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Cities sue FAA over new flight plans - Los Angeles Times - Oct 27 - Citing concerns about the potential for increased aircraft noise and pollution, Newport Beach officials...more

Second-Ever Eagle Programmatic Take Permit Soon To Be Granted For California Wind Energy Facility

On November 1, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its plan to issue what will be only the second programmatic eagle take permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) permit program...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

Is the Golden State about to Fumble Away a Golden Program?

Streamlining environmental reviews of highway projects and fixing state highway issues faster with reduced costs, have all proven successful under the NEPA Assignment Program (Program) that California entered in 2007. In...more

Department of Energy Updates Integrated Interagency Pre-Application Process for Electric Transmission Projects 

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a final rule which revises the agency's regulations governing its Integrated Interagency Pre-Application (IIP) process and...more

DC Circuit Denies Sierra Club Appeal of FERC Authorization of Two LNG Facilities

Since 2012, the major opponent of new large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects has been the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club has adopted a two-pronged approach in its opposition to LNG exports projects, opposing...more

The White House Final Greenhouse Gas Guidance Directs Federal Agencies to Consider Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions...

On August 1, 2016, the White House Council on Environmental Quality published its final guidance to federal agencies requiring the consideration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and effects on climate change when evaluating...more

ND Pipeline Decision: Court Grants TRO to Prevent Indian Nation from Interfering with Construction of Pipelines

On September 13, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order in the matter of Paradigm Energy Partners, LLC v. Fox, et al., prohibiting the defendants from...more

District Court Rejects Petition for Preliminary Injunction to Stop Dakota Access Pipeline, Triggering Forceful Response by Federal...

On September 9, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a motion for a Preliminary Injunction against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a pipeline...more

Using Drones for a Bird’s Eye View of Wildlife

Project applicants and permitting and funding agencies often gather extensive scientific data to support project evaluations under environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species...more

Back to the Fracking Drawing Board for BLM? Fracking’s Risks Are Too Obvious to Ignore

Last week, Judge Michael Fitzgerald granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in a citizen suit alleging that BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement prepared to address whether to open certain lands in California to mineral...more

Energy Update - September 2016

We are pleased to release the latest issue of our client newsletter, Energy Update, designed to inform clients and friends of the firm about important developments affecting US and international energy markets. Please...more

Federal and State Wildlife and Natural Resources Managers Collaborate on Historic Conservation Agreement

The WilmerHale Energy, Environment and Natural Resources group was proud to represent Newmont Mining in working with state and federal entities, among other stakeholders, to develop a historic 1.5-million-acre voluntary,...more

BLM Must Take a “Hard Look” at Fracking Impacts

On September 6, 2016, a federal Judge issued an Order finding that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) failed to take a “hard look,” as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), at the potential...more

D.C. Circuit Overturns FWS Approval of Wind Farm Due to Bat Concerns

The U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit recently held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving an Ohio wind energy project without looking at all...more

Court Rejects NEPA, Section 4(f) Challenges to Arizona South Mountain Freeway Project

In a decision of national importance to the transportation community, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona rejected National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) challenges and Section 4(f) challenges to the 22-mile...more

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