News & Analysis as of

Sierra Club

Can Discharges to Groundwater Trigger Clean Water Act Liability

by Williams Mullen on

It’s a bad day when you find out that your facility has been leaking wastewater, wastes, petroleum product or chemicals. But if the leak went into the soil and the groundwater first, rather than a nearby creek, are you liable...more

First District Holds Sonoma County Vineyard Development (VESCO) Permit was Ministerial Approval Exempt from CEQA

by Miller Starr Regalia on

On April 21, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal filed a 22-page published opinion providing significant guidance and analysis concerning the critical, but sometimes elusive, distinction between “discretionary” project...more

Leave It to the States: Oklahoma Federal Court Dismisses Fracking Suit In Favor Of Administrative Regulation

by Liskow & Lewis on

On April 4, 2017, a federal district court dismissed a citizen-enforcement action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act that could have profound impact on fracking suits against the oil and gas industry. In...more

District Court Invokes Burford Abstention and Primary Jurisdiction Doctrines to Dismiss RCRA Citizen Suit

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has dismissed the Sierra Club’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) citizen suit, filed against several oil and gas producers seeking declaratory and...more

DC Circuit Case May Test Continuing Validity of FERC Delegations of Authority to Agency Staff Once Its Quorum Disappeared

by Stinson Leonard Street on

On February 7 and March 7, 2017, we wrote about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is operating without a legal quorum of three members and how the lack of a quorum might affect the validity of FERC staff...more

Sierra Club Files Notice Of Intent To Sue EPA Over Failure To Analyze RFS Program

On February 23, 2017, the Sierra Club filed a notice of intent to sue EPA for failure to conduct the required environmental impact analysis on the RFS program. The notice states that EPA failed to assess and report to...more

Antitrust Claims: A Novel Line of Attack by Groups Opposing Natural Gas Infrastructure Projects

by K&L Gates LLP on

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups have made little secret of their opposition to the continuing use of fossil fuels and to the development of infrastructure to support that use. A new wrinkle in their multifront...more

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

by Liskow & Lewis on

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

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

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

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

Energy Update - September 2016

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

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

A Lumber Mill Biomass CoGen Need Not Consider Other Fuels In Its BACT Analysis. Other Sources Should Be So Lucky.

Ever since EPA began considering how BACT analysis would be applied to greenhouse gas emissions, there has been concern that EPA would use its BACT authority to “redefine the source” – with the particular concern that BACT...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #2

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - In California's climate debate, state lawmakers push for more authority - Los Angeles Times - Aug 11 - Over the last two weeks, a bipartisan group of assembly members have...more

A Coal Plant Shutdown and the Undoing of a Wind Energy Bottleneck

Everyone knows the transmission bottleneck is the boot on the neck of wind energy. The Plains States have megawatts of wind energy. Getting it to the places with megawatts of demand, like Oregon and Washington, aye, there’s...more

Climate Change Opinions Don't Help Business; Data Do

We try to stay away from politics on the blog, so we were reluctant to take up the Sierra Club’s recent report concluding that if Donald Trump became president he would be unique among world leaders in his refusal to...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s NEPA Analysis in Sabine Pass and Freeport LNG Projects

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected two related challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental review of the Sabine Pass LNG and Freeport LNG...more

Air Program Malfunction Exemption Nixed, But Not Agency Discretion

by Williams Mullen on

Virginia’s State Air Pollution Control Board (“Board”) recently amended its regulations to remove the long-standing malfunction exemption available to regulated sources of air pollution for violations of emission limits and...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

by Williams Mullen on

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Renewable Energy Update - April 2016 #4

by Allen Matkins on

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewable portfolio standards drive 60% of U.S. clean energy boom - Greentech Media - Apr 15 - The renewable portfolio standards that many states have enacted are responsible for 60...more

Is Increased Seismic Activity from the Disposal of Fracking Fluid Actionable Under RCRA?

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Partner Andrew H. Perellis is quoted in this Forbes Legal News article today, Sierra Club’s Legal Theory In Frackquake Case Draws ‘Star Trek’ Comparison (March 31, 2016). The article concerns a complaint filed...more

New ESA Regulations Expand Impact of "Critical Habitat" Designations

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Two new rules and one new policy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) relating to the process of designating and protecting "critical habitat" under the Endangered...more

The Statute of Limitations Narrows a Bit More on PSD Violations: Sierra Club Suffers a Self-Inflicted Wound

The law is full of fine distinctions. Today’s example? A divided 10th Circuit panel affirmed dismissal of the Sierra Club’s citizen suit claims against Oklahoma Gas and Electric concerning alleged PSD violations at OG&E’s...more

Sierra Club Sues Over Oklahoma Earthquakes

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

The Sierra Club has filed suit against three oil and gas companies operating in Oklahoma, alleging that the companies’ wastewater injection practices were behind the recent uptick in earthquake activity in the state. The...more

Case Law Updates

by Williams Mullen on

Clean Water Act - In last month’s edition of Environmental Notes, we discussed the potential impact of two recent federal district court decisions finding that a citizen suit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) could be...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #4

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - States ask Supreme Court to block Obama carbon emissions plan - Reuters - Jan 26 - A group of states led by West Virginia and Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay...more

Two Frackquake Lawsuits Filed in Oklahoma

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Two lawsuits were filed within days of each other in Oklahoma, claiming that energy companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing and underground disposal of produced water are causing earthquakes throughout the state. These...more

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