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Key Regulations Under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Will Be Finalized June 1

April 27, 2016

As controversy abounds over exactly what effect this winter’s El Niño rains have had on the longstanding drought in California, efforts to develop comprehensive state groundwater regulation continue to advance. More

FERC and the Supreme Court, Part Two: Court Decides Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, Clarifying Lines Between Federal and State Jurisdiction Over Electric Power Markets

April 27, 2016

As the Supreme Court has recently explained, under the Federal Power Act (“FPA”),[1] “no electricity transaction can proceed unless it is regulable by someone.”[2] The FPA empowers the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to oversee “the transmission of electric energy in interstate commer More

U.S. District Court Denies Spotted Frog Injunction

April 20, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) issued its Final Rule listing the Oregon Spotted Frog as a “Threatened Species” under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) in 2014.[1] A Final Rule designating areas of critical habitat for the Oregon Spotted Frog is expected in spring 2016. More

Supreme Court Evaluates Judicial Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations

April 20, 2016

The current eight members of the Supreme Court recently heard argument in a case regarding whether a party is entitled to judicial review of a jurisdictional determination (“JD”) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”). More

Ninth Circuit Upholds Polar Bear Critical Habitat Designated In Alaska and Arctic Waters

March 23, 2016

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the designation of 187,000 square miles of the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea, and Alaska’s northern coast as critical habitat for the polar bear. The designation includes Deadhorse, the hub of Alaska’s North Slope oil and gas industry, and existing North Slope oil fields.[1] U.S. More

FERC at the Supreme Court: Drawing the Line Between Federal and State Jurisdiction Over Electric Power Markets

March 23, 2016

In its current term, the Supreme Court has taken on two cases (one already decided[1] and the other argued on February 24, 2016[2]) involving the increasingly unclear lines between the jurisdiction of state public utility commissions and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) over electric power rates and marke More

Oregon Enacts Phase-out of “Coal by Wire” and Doubles Renewable Portfolio Standard

March 15, 2016

Although the U.S. Supreme Court on February 9 stayed the implementation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan,[1] development of climate policy at the state level has not ceased. More

Not Ready for Roundup™ — The Regulation of Glyphosate Under California’s Proposition 65

March 8, 2016

Last September, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued a notice of its intent to list glyphosate as a chemical “known to the state” to cause cancer.[1] Listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen would subject the chemical to new consumer warnings and other requirements under California More

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Proposes Incidental Take Rule for Migratory Birds

June 17, 2015

On May 26, 2015, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a Notice of Intent (Notice) that initiated environmental review of a proposal to regulate the incidental take of most of the bird species found in the United States.[1] More

CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions? Ninth Circuit to Hear Appeal of District Court Decision That Could Expand Superfund Statute’s Reach

April 19, 2015

On December 31, 2014, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington issued an order that has potential significantly to expand the reach of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).[1] In Pakootas v. More

Got Mold? A Brief Guide to Liability and Notice Requirements

March 5, 2008

Thousands of mold-related lawsuits have been filed in the United States during the last decade. Prior to 2000, most mold claims were routinely settled for relatively nominal amounts of $5,000 or less. Today, mold claims by commercial developers and homeowners routinely exceed $100,000, and some are resolved for much higher amounts. More

Interior’s Sage Grouse Plans Raise Concerns for Industry, Politicians in 10 Western States

June 2, 2015

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. More

EPA Issues New Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges

July 1, 2015

EPA recently issued a new multi-sector general permit under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) governing stormwater discharges from industrial facilities.[1] The new permit is available to twenty-nine sectors of industry in jurisdictions where EPA is the permitting authority.[2] The permit has several key changes, including requ More

Sale of Used Transformers Does Not Give Rise to “Arranger Liability,” Fourth Circuit Holds

April 18, 2015

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has become the most recent circuit court to weigh in on the distinction between when a party can be held liable as an “arranger” under CERCLA and when the party instead sells a “useful product” that contains hazardous substances. In Consolidation Coal Co. v. More

Adapting to Drought and Climate Change in the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement

July 1, 2015

Oregon’s Klamath Basin has long been known as a hotbed for water conflict. More