National Environmental Policy Act

News & Analysis as of

California Oil and Gas Update: In-depth look at the California BLM's fracking decision

Oil and gas lease sales on public lands set to resume in 2015 based upon independent fracking report - On August 28, 2014 the California State Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) signaled its intent to...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - September 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: House GOP bill would speed up environmental reviews: KPCC - Sep 9: As negotiations over compromise drought legislation flounder in Congress, House Republicans are pursuing an alternative...more

The Future of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Exports under the Department of Energy’s Revised Review Process

During the last two years, we have seen the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) pick up the pace in granting conditional authorizations for companies to export liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) to countries that do not have a Free...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Extenders Déjà Vu: Fate of Expired Clean Energy Tax Provisions Closely Tied to Election - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy -...more

Lost Opportunity On US LNG Exports

IN A MOVE THAT COULD SIGNIFICANTLY SHAKE UP THE GLOBAL LNG MARKET, THE US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY RECENTLY ANNOUNCED SEVERAL DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING NATURAL GAS EXPORTS, INCLUDING A PROPOSED RULE CHANGE FOR REVIEWING APPLICATIONS...more

District Court Denies Motion to Enjoin Delta Water Transfers

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion brought by environmental groups to enjoin a water transfer project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta). Plaintiffs...more

Federal Agencies Need to Address “Controversial” Social Cost of Carbon in NEPA Cost-Benefit Analysis

A federal district court in Colorado recently issued a decision faulting federal agencies for failing to calculate the social cost of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the basis that such a calculation was not feasible. The...more

D.C. Circuit Rules that FERC May Not Segment Its Evaluation of the Environmental Impact of Related Natural Gas Pipeline...

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion holding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it segmented its evaluation of the...more

Fish and Wildlife Announces In-Depth Review of Eagle Management Policy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that it intended to conduct either a NEPA environmental assessment (EA) or an environmental impact statement (EIS) concerning its bald and golden eagle management...more

More Pipeline Development Projects: What America Needs

National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) challenges to pipeline projects and other natural gas infrastructure have become a commonplace tool in recent years for environmental groups seeking to defeat or delay midstream...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Review Eagle Permit Rules

On Friday, June 20, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced its plans to engage the public in a review of how permits are issued for the non-purposeful take of bald and golden eagles under the Bald and...more

Tennessee Gas Decision: Oil & Gas Implications

On June 6, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that the FERC violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by improperly "segmenting" its NEPA analysis of a four-part upgrade to Tennessee Gas...more

D.C. Circuit to FERC: Environmental Review of “Related” Pipeline Expansion Projects Must Consider Cumulative Effects, Even After...

On June 6, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, that could significantly impact efforts to expand...more

Nossaman Partner Provides Expertise to NCHRP's Second Volume Addressing Management of NEPA-Related Risks in Project Delivery

The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (“TRB”) has released its second volume of guidance addressing risks in project delivery, including risks associated with the National Environmental Policy Act...more

D.C. Circuit Court Requires FERC To Consolidate its NEPA Review of Nominally Separate Interstate Gas Pipeline Projects

On June 6, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion holding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted improperly in separately analyzing the environmental impacts of several nominally separate...more

DOE Proposes "Environment First" Prioritization for LNG Export Review

On May 29, 2014, the Department of Energy proposed a new approach to conducting its reviews of proposed projects to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-FTA countries. The new approach could slow the approval process at...more

DOE proposes major changes to LNG export rules, comments due July 21

The US Department of Energy is proposing to change its rules and procedures for reviewing applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the US (non-FTA...more

DOE Announces Fundamental Shift in LNG Export Authorization Policy

On Thursday, 29 May 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) announced a proposed change to the procedures it will use to process applications to export LNG to non-free trade agreement (“non-FTA”) countries. This is a...more

Inside the Mining Industry: An Arizona Mining Lawyer Discusses Key Challenges, Opportunities & Trends for 2014 and Beyond

Other than market forces, Federal permitting processes continue to be a primary cause of delay for new mines and the expansion of existing mines throughout the United States. The federal government manages a significant...more

Guidance for Managing NEPA-Related Risks and Other Risks in Project Delivery - National Cooperative Highway Research Program...

In This Issue: - AUTHOR'S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS - GUIDANCE FOR MANAGING LEGAL RISKS IN THE NEPA PROCESS ..Early Identification and Assessment of Legal Risks ..Methods for Managing Legal Risks ..Legal Risk...more

DOE Proposes New Procedures for LNG Export Authorizations

Yesterday, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) issued proposed new procedures for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export decisions. The proposal applies only to applications to export LNG from the Lower-48 states to...more

Special Committee Convened to Develop MEPA Climate Change Adaptation Policy

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (“EEA”) has convened an Adaptation Advisory Committee to advise the EEA on incorporating the potential impacts of climate change into environmental impact...more

Sixth Circuit Greenlights Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held this week that the Department of Energy (DOE) complied with its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in providing funding for a cellulosic ethanol...more

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Environmental Review of Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement

Ninth Circuit Affirms District Court’s Decision Approving NEPA and Clean Air Act Review of Federal QSA - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued its decision on the federal case challenging...more

High-Speed Rail Fresno to Bakersfield Route Approved

The California High Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) Board of Directors unanimously voted on Wednesday to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the Fresno to Bakersfield...more

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