Latham's Clean Energy Law Report

Tag Archives: Endangered Species Act

U.S. Army Corps Reissues Fifty Existing and Two New Nationwide Permits

By Janice Schneider, Joel Beauvais, Stacey VanBelleghem, Jennifer Roy, and Francesca Bochner On March 19, 2017, 52 new or reissued nationwide permits (NWPs) for discharges into “waters of the United States,” issued pursuant to Section 404(e) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act went into effect. The … Continue Reading

US Fish and Wildlife Service Finalizes Eagle Rule Revision

By Sara Orr, Jennifer Roy and Francesca Bochner On December 14, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finalized its proposed revisions to the Eagle Rule (Final Rule) and released its Record of Decision (ROD). The Final Rule allows companies and others to obtain 30-year incidental take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection … Continue Reading

US Fish and Wildlife Service Moves Forward With Proposed Eagle Rule Revision

By Sara Orr, Jennifer Roy and Francesca Bochner On July 5, 2016, the public comment period closed for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) proposed revisions to the rules authorizing eagle take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) and accompanying Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), paving the way for … Continue Reading

BLM Moves Forward with Phase I of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

By Marc Campopiano, Josh Bledsoe, Jennifer Roy, and James Erselius Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) has now been approved, paving the way for streamlined permitting and environmental review of qualified renewable energy projects on Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-administered lands in the Mojave and Colorado/Sonoran desert regions of Southern California. … Continue Reading

US FWS Announces Record of Decision Streamlining Wind Energy Permitting for the Upper Great Plains

By Sara Orr and Bobbi-Jo Dobush On July 7, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).[1] This is the final step in a process that US FWS, along with Western Area Power Administration (Western), embarked upon in … Continue Reading

US FWS Releases Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan

By Sara Orr, Daniel Brunton, Marc Campopiano and Andrea Hogan On April 15, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued its Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) proposing a regional approach to Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance process in response to the growth of … Continue Reading

6 Key Takeaways from the FWS’s Proposed Update to the Eagle Act Rules

By Sara Orr, Jennifer Roy and Francesca Bochner On May 2, 2016, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its second attempt to revise its rules authorizing eagle take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act). The rule would extend the maximum eagle take permit term from 5 to 30 … Continue Reading

Court Limits Migratory Bird Treaty Act Applicability to Incidental Take

By Sara Orr and Jennifer Roy On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in United States v. CITGO that a “taking” subject to prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not include the unintentional take of migratory birds. Reversing a district court decision and … Continue Reading

BLM Receives Challenges to Greater Sage-Grouse Plans From All Sides

By Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman Following the May 28, 2015 release by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of 14 final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) for land use plans designed to provide greater protection to the greater sage-grouse on approximately 50 million acres of BLM-managed land in 10 different western states, more than 40 … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds that the BLM’s Grant of a Right-of-Way for a Road Over Federal Land Does Not Trigger Consultation Under the ESA or an Environmental Impact Statement Under NEPA for a Wind Project with Independent Utility

By Christopher Garrett & Daniel Brunton On May 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) grant of a right-of-way over federal land for a road (the Road Project) for a wind energy project developed by North Sky River Energy, LLC (North Sky) on … Continue Reading

DRECP Agencies Announce Phase I Updates

By Marc Campopiano, Joshua Bledsoe, Jennifer Roy, James Erselius Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (“DRECP”) is underway on the 9.8 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”). As discussed in our previous post, the four lead agencies responsible for the plan introduced a phased approach to … Continue Reading

Bureau of Land Management Releases Conservation Plans for Greater Sage-Grouse

By Marc Campopiano, Max Friedman and Gunnar Gundersen On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released fourteen final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) that incorporate greater-sage-grouse conservation measures into the land-use plans for about 50 million acres of BLM-managed land in 10 western states. The population of the sage-grouse has declined by more … Continue Reading

Nine Western States Throw Their Support Behind Case Challenging Reach of the Endangered Species Act

By Andrea Hogan, Mark Campopiano, Sara Orr, and Daniel Brunton On May 26, nine western states filed an amicus brief in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners  (PETPO) v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service urging the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to limit the reach of the Endangered Species Act. At issue … Continue Reading

Wildlife Agencies Propose Regulatory Changes to Species-Listing Process Under Endangered Species Act

By Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman On May 18, 2015, the federal agencies that oversee the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service proposed significant changes to the process by which parties can petition for the listing of species as protected under the Act or … Continue Reading

The Department of the Interior does not list sub-population of greater sage-grouse as a threatened or endangered species, but broader review under the Endangered Species Act continues

By Marc Campopiano and Gunnar Gundersen On April 21, 2015, Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, announced that a sub-population of greater sage-grouse along the California-Nevada border does not require Endangered Species Act protection. In 2010, the US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the bi-state population of greater sage-grouse a “distinct … Continue Reading

The Northern Long-Eared Bat’s listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act could affect development in the Northeastern United States

By Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman On April 1, 2015, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) announced that it would list the northern long-eared bat as a “threatened species” under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The listing comes in response to a sharp drop of more than 90 percent of the northern long-eared bat’s … Continue Reading

Agencies Modify Strategy with Desert Renewable Energy Plan Over Concerns From Local Agencies, Industry and Environmental Groups

By Marc Campopiano, Josh Bledsoe, Jennifer Roy, and James Erselius Concerns from local agencies, industry, and environmental groups over the long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”)/Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (“DRECP”)—a renewable energy and conservation plan covering 22.5 million acres of desert located in seven Southern California counties—have caused … Continue Reading

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan to Streamline Permitting for 20,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy

By Jennifer Roy, Marc Campopiano and Joshua T. Bledsoe On September 23, 2014, the California Energy Commission (“CEC”), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”), US Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), and US Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS”) for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan … Continue Reading

Decision on Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm

By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton and Taiga Takahashi On March 14, 2014, in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility et al. v. Beaudreu et al. [click here to view opinion], the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision on multiple challenges to the Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm based on alleged violations of … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Vacates Ruby Pipeline “No Jeopardy” Biological Opinion Under the Endangered Species Act

By Janice Schneider, Buck Endemann, and Jennifer Roy On October 22, 2012, the Ninth Circuit vacated certain federal authorizations for the Ruby Pipeline, a completed natural gas pipeline running from Wyoming to Oregon.  The Court concluded that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Biological Opinion (BiOp) failed to comply with the federal Endangered Species Act … Continue Reading

Federal Government Agrees to Revise West-Wide Energy Corridor Plan to Facilitate Renewable Energy

By Taiga Takahashi In early July, the Federal Government agreed to review and revise the West-wide Energy Corridor Plan to settle a lawsuit[1] brought by environmental groups in 2009 challenging the Energy Corridor Plan under NEPA, the FLPMA, and the ESA. The original version of the Energy Corridor Plan designated energy corridors across 11 western … Continue Reading

Roadblock to California Greenhouse Gas Cap and Trade Program Removed, but Others Remain

By Michael Feeley and Aron Potash A lawsuit which delayed and once threatened to dismantle California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) cap and trade scheme was largely resolved last week, removing one roadblock to California’s plan to be the first state to impose an economy-wide GHG trading program.  Under modified regulations adopted by the California Air Resources … Continue Reading

US Chamber of Commerce study: regulatory and legal barriers to energy projects delay cleantech efforts and prevent economic growth

Clean energy projects have tremendous potential to create jobs and grow the economy and help the nation meet its energy needs in a more sustainable way, but regulatory and legal barriers to energy projects have substantially reduced job creation and economic growth while impeding efforts to bring new energy generation facilities on line, according to … Continue Reading
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