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U.S. Supreme Court Report: Argument in Clean Air Act Case on the Obligation to Consider Regulatory Cost and Court Upholds Agency Use of Interpretive Rules

April 8, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014-15 term is now in full swing. In contrast to the past several years, the Court has only one high profile environmental issue on the docket—a Clean Air Act (“CAA”) case, on which the Court heard oral argument the last week in March. More

Federal Agencies and States Pursue New Regulations for Oil Trains, Face Court Challenges

April 8, 2015

The North American oil boom, combined with absent or inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in an unprecedented increase in transportation of crude oil by rail car. Resulting rail accidents have spawned legislation and regulations designed to address safety concerns. More

2015 Oregon Legislative Scorecard

March 9, 2015

A number of environmental and energy bills have been introduced in Oregon’s 2015 legislative session potentially impacting businesses and public agencies. Here is an update on some of the bills working their way through the legislature. More

Oregon’s 2013 Environmental Coverage Statute: An Insurance Scorecard Part I

March 6, 2015

A scorecard on the effect of the 2013 Oregon environmental coverage statute, SB 814, should begin by acknowledging one of its primary drivers: the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. More

New Groundwater Legislation Will Have Dramatic Impacts on California Agriculture

January 22, 2015

Historically, California has never managed its groundwater supplies on a state-wide basis. That has now changed. As of January 1, 2015, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”), an ambitious attempt that Governor Jerry Brown signed last September in order to regulate the use of groundwater on a more universal scale, has now gone into effect. More

Golden Eagle Mortality at Wind Energy Projects – Implications of Duke and PacifiCorp Plea Agreements

January 21, 2015

In December 2014, PacifiCorp Energy entered into a criminal plea agreement under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA),[1] for deaths of golden eagles and other migratory birds at wind energy projects in Wyoming.[2] This settlement comes just more than a year after the first-ever MBTA criminal plea agreement for a wind fac More

Ninth Circuit Holds Courts Must Look at Comparative Fault in Considering CERCLA Settlements

December 21, 2014

The Ninth Circuit recently reversed a district court’s entry of a set of CERCLA consent decrees because the lower court had failed to independently evaluate whether the settlements represented the comparative fault of the settling and non-settling parties. In Arizona v. City of Tucson, 761 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. More

California’s Controversial New Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Restricts Solar, Wind Development

December 15, 2014

Introduction

California and federal resource agencies have released a 22.5 million-acre draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) for Southern California[1] that substantially restricts the opportunities for solar and wind development in that state. More