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Clean Air Act: EPA’s Proposal for Reducing CO2 Emissions From Electric Power Sector Would Present the States With a Complex Task

July 8, 2014

The Obama Administration has released its much-anticipated proposal for limiting nationwide carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electric power sector, calling for an overall 30 percent reduction by 2030, compared to a 2005 baseline (about a 17 percent reduction from current emissions). More »

Supreme Court Rules That CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statutes of Repose

July 8, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) – 42 USC §9658 – does not pre-empt state statutes of repose that cut off a defendant’s liability after a certain amount of time. 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 »

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 »

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 »

EPA Revises CWA Construction Stormwater Rule; Removes Controversial Numeric Turbidity Limits

March 19, 2014

More than four years after finalizing its Clean Water Act (“CWA”) construction stormwater rule, EPA has issued a revised rule eliminating controversial numeric limits for turbidity. 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 »

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 »

California Utilities Struggle to Comply With State Energy Storage Requirements

March 19, 2014

California’s three major investor-owned electric utilities took the first steps last month to comply with stringent new energy storage requirements established under a 2010 state law known as Assembly Bill (AB) 2514. More »

Justices Hear Challenge to EPA’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

March 3, 2014

On February 24th, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA,[1] a case that has the potential to narrow EPA’s authority to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from stationary sources, such as power plants and factories, under the Clean Air Act. 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 »

Hydraulic Fracturing: Legislative and Regulatory Trends

October 4, 2011

Hydraulic fracturing (commonly called “fracking”) is a method for increasing output at oil and natural gas wells by breaking open gas-bearing rock formations using high-pressure fluid injection. More »