Sierra Club

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Environmental Notes - January 2016

Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) operates a coalfired power plant in Chesapeake, Virginia. It maintains permits for its operations, including a Virginia solid waste management permit and a Virginia Pollutant Discharge...more

Virginia Federal Court Holds Groundwater Contamination Triggers Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) operates a coal-fired power plant in Chesapeake, Virginia. It maintains permits for its operations, including a Virginia solid waste management permit and a Virginia Pollutant Discharge...more

Supreme Engagement: CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California’s High Court

A new year often brings fresh perspective. With 2016 still in its infancy, it is natural to reflect back on what has been and also to contemplate what is yet to come. The California Supreme Court’s recent CEQA decisions, and...more

T&H Case Study: Creating a Timeline of Fossil Fuel Disasters in America

As mentioned in a previous case study, much of the work we do in support of environmental law and toxic tort cases involves compiling comprehensive site histories. We work with our clients to come up with cost-efficient...more

Court Denies Move For Final Judgment On Order Delaying BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule; Environmental Groups Proceed Anyway

Following a Wyoming federal court’s order temporarily halting the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands, Sierra Club and several other environmental groups requested the...more

Environmental Challenge Blasts Kern County Oil and Gas Rules

On Thursday, December 10, environmental organizations filed a complaint against Kern County in California Superior Court alleging that the County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) by preparing a...more

Sierra Club Issues Notice of Intent to Sue over Frackquakes in Oklahoma

On Monday, November 2, the Sierra Club issued a Notice of Intent to Sue (“Notice”) four oil companies, alleging ongoing violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). Specifically, the Notice states that...more

EPA Issues New Residual Risk and Technology Rule for Petroleum Refineries

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) promulgated its final Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review (“RTR”) and New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) rule...more

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