National Environmental Policy Act

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Holds that the BLM’s Grant of a Right-of-Way for a Road Over Federal Land Does Not Trigger Consultation Under the...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) grant of a right-of-way over federal land for a road (the Road Project) for a wind energy project...more

Ninth Circuit Critical Habitat Decision Casts Shadow On Habitat Conservation Plan “No Surprises” Assurances

In a decision that casts a shadow on the enforceability of contractual assurances in habitat conservation plan (“HCP”) agreements, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected various Endangered Species Act...more

The Demise of the Illiana Expressway: Another Court Rejects Development Modeling Projections

While it may go down as a classic case of “bad facts making bad law,” last week’s ruling rejecting the government’s NEPA analysis for the controversial Illiana Expressway is the just the latest in a disturbing trend for large...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 42

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 42 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Maryland, Texas, and Wyoming. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick...more

The NEPA Sky Is Not Falling: Why the Hand-Wringing Over CEQ’s GHG Guidance?

From the halls of Congress to the pages of mainstream environmental media, numerous warnings of increased regulatory burdens and litigation mischief stemming from the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Revised Draft...more

Salazar Says Draft NEPA GHG Guide Leaves Host Of Unresolved Issues

Former Obama administration Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is warning that the White House’s proposed guide for assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) leaves open a host of...more

NEPA Revised Draft Guidance on Consideration of GHG Emissions: Version 2.0 - Proposal Requires Federal Agencies to Assess GHG and...

Nearly five years after issuing its initial draft, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) continues to revise its draft guidance on conducting greenhouse gas (GHG) impact analyses under the National...more

MARAD Issues Final Policy on Licensing Offshore Oil and LNG Export Facilities

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued its final policy on May 7, 2015, regarding the review and processing of applications for the export of oil and natural gas from offshore deepwater port facilities under the Deepwater...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Approval of Maryland Natural Gas Facility

On April 24, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community v. FERC, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approval of Dominion Transmission’s...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments April 2015

EAB Reverses Epic Penalty In Elementis Case, But Affirms EPA's "Continuing" TSCA Section 8(e) Interpretation: On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) reversed the...more

NEPA Review — Still the Land of Deference

Last week, District Judge Ralph Beistline allowed the summary judgment motion filed by the United States Forest Service, and dismissed citizen claims challenging the Forest Service decision to approve an logging project in an...more

EPA Issues Response to ICTA Petition Regarding Nanosilver

Almost seven years ago, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) filed a petition for rulemaking requesting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate products containing nanosilver as...more

California Supreme Court’s CEQA Ruling Reaches Beyond Residential Development

On Monday March 2, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision allowing a Berkeley home builder to use an exemption from detailed environmental assessment under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) in its...more

Greenhouse Gases and Environmental Review: CEQ’s expansive view on how NEPA treats GHGs

On December 18, 2014, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed revised guidance (“Guidance”) directing how federal agencies should consider greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change when...more

New Year, New NEPA Guidance: CEQ Takes on GHGs

At the conclusion of 2014, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released revised draft guidance for federal agencies evaluating the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change as part of an...more

Interior Department Proposes to Open Offshore Atlantic Region to Oil and Gas Leasing

The Department of the Interior today announced that it will publish for public comment a draft proposed Five-Year Program (“DPP”) governing the leasing of offshore oil and gas for 2017 through 2022.  Interior’s DPP will...more

Environmental Justice in Massachusetts

Over the past several months, there has been a flurry of activity on environmental justice in Massachusetts, and more developments are expected shortly.  ...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Psychological Harm Theory in Deer-Culling Case

This Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion in No. 13-5136, Grunewald v. Jarvis, affirming the lower court’s decision that the National Park Service’s promulgation of the White-Tailed Deer Management Plan was lawful. At...more

The “LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act”— A Positive Step Toward Expediting U.S. LNG Export Projects

Restrictive regulations and permitting processes that operate at glacial speed (as opposed to market speed) pose the primary hurdles to greater U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In response to a chorus of...more

Environmental Groups Dust Off NEPA and CEQA in Attempt to Halt Hydraulic Fracturing and Well Acidization

Municipal bans and other legislative measures to halt hydraulic fracturing and related well stimulation techniques have yielded mixed results across the country. In an attempt to halt hydraulic fracturing and acid well...more

Equal Access To Justice Act: Why Prevailing On Only 1 Out Of 3 Claims In Oregon Forestry Case Can Still Be Quite Rewarding

Generally, a failure rate of two-thirds would indicate that what you are doing isn't profitable. However, when dealing with environmental law, that clearly isn't the case. In Cascadia Wildlands v. Bureau of Land Management,...more

Industry Challenging County and Municipal Bans on Multiple Fronts

Municipalities and counties have joined forces with environmental groups to halt hydraulic fracking and related well stimulation techniques. Environmental groups have filed suits under the National Environmental Policy Act...more

Greenhouse Gases “Rise” in Importance for NEPA Reviews

Just before Christmas, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) published revised draft guidance intended to direct federal agencies on when and how to consider the effects of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions...more

White House Updates Draft Guidance on Climate Change Considerations in NEPA Review

On December 18, 2014, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released revised draft guidance on the consideration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change in National Environmental Policy Act...more

CEQ Issues Draft Guidance on Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The guidance will significantly affect infrastructure projects located on federal land and federal permitting of major energy projects. On December 18, the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued...more

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