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CEQA: New Rules Narrow Scope of Environmental Review in California

July 1, 2014

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1] More

NEPA/BGEPA: Fish and Wildlife Service May Overhaul Rule Permitting Incidental Take of Eagles

July 1, 2014

Just as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issues its first permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) [1] authorizing a wind energy project to “take” golden eagles over the next five years, the agency also has announced that it intends to conduct a comprehensive review of its eagle permitting program under the National En More

Clean Water Act: EPA/Corps Initiate Rulemaking Seeking to Expand Federal Reach Over Wetlands and Other Waters

May 19, 2014

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) are again attempting to expand their jurisdiction over wetlands and other ancillary waters. The move comes after years of debate, studies, and trips up and down the federal court system. More

Clean Air Act: Supreme Court Defers To EPA on Cross-State Air Pollution, Putting More Pressure on Aging Coal-Fired Power Plants

May 15, 2014

Upholding EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (commonly called the Transport Rule), the Supreme Court has handed a defeat to owners of power plants in 28 Eastern, Southern and Midwestern States.[1] The rule requires reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide from power plants in those States to improve air quality in downwind States. More

BLM Approves Utah Recreational Land Exchange

April 25, 2014

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) executed its Decision Record on February 7, 2014 authorizing the agency to complete what is commonly referred to as the “Utah Recreational Land Exchange.” This exchange proposal between the BLM and the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (“SITLA” or “State”) has been in the making since 2005 and authorizes the conveyance of 33,608 acres of federal land to the State in exchange for 25,034 acres of State owned school trust land. 

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New Developments Integrating Wind and Solar Power into the Power Grid

April 14, 2014

Wind producers’ (and solar) generation projects are increasing the level of services and transmission that Regional Transmission Organizations and Balancing Authorities are required to provide to integrate them into their systems. Those systems were originally designed primarily for thermal generation whose output is more subject to control to follow utility load patterns. More

Supreme Court to Decide Whether CERCLA Statute Can Revive Otherwise Time-Barred Toxic Tort Suit

April 1, 2014

A corner of Superfund rarely explored by most CERCLA lawyers is the subject of a U.S Supreme Court case that will be heard this term. The case is not about cleanup, but about whether CERCLA can be used to revive otherwise time-barred toxic tort claims brought under a state statute. More

Landmark Agreement Near in Upper Klamath Basin: Implementation Uncertain

April 1, 2014

The Upper Klamath Basin water users, the Klamath Tribes, the United States, and the State of Oregon tentatively reached an agreement on March 4, 2014 which may resolve years of litigation over water rights in the Klamath basin. More