Latham's Clean Energy Law Report

Tag Archives: Permitting

Proposed Amendments to Cap-and-Trade Extension Bill Could Undermine Program

By Bob Wyman, JP Brisson, Joshua Bledsoe, Andrew Westgate, and Brittany Dryer On April 18, 2017, California Assembly Members Garcia, Holden, and Garcia proposed amendments to Assembly Bill No. 378 (AB 378) that are intended to extend but significantly reshape California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.[1] This post briefly summarizes the backdrop against which AB 378 has been … Continue Reading

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

The Department of Energy’s Simplified IIP Process Goes Into Effect in November

By Sara Orr, Bobbi-Jo Dobush and Francesca Bochner On November 28, 2016, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) simplified Integrated Interagency Pre-Application (IIP) Process will go into effect.[i] The IIP is a voluntary, pre-application process intended to streamline and improve the permitting and siting process for qualifying electric transmission projects. In an effort to increase efficiency, the … 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

White House Issues Final NEPA Guidance on Climate Change

By Joshua Bledsoe, Sara Orr and Stacey VanBelleghem On August 2, 2016, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final guidance for federal agencies to assess the impact of their decisions on greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and also how such decisions may be impacted by a changing climate (e.g., future sea level … 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

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

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

Authors: Sara Orr and Jennifer Roy On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) from 5 years … 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

US Fish & Wildlife Service Proposes First-of-its-Kind Migratory Bird Incidental Take Authorizations

By Benjamin Hanelin, Jennifer Roy, and Natalie Rogers On May 26, 2015, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its intent to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) to evaluate the potential impacts of permits authorizing the incidental take of migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).  The PEIS will address, among … Continue Reading

Bill to Streamline Federal Permitting for Major Energy and Infrastructure Projects Advances in the US Senate

By Andrea Hogan and Joshua Marnitz On May 6, 2015, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 12-1 in favor of a bill designed to streamline the Federal permitting process for major energy and infrastructure projects. The bill, first introduced in January 2015 by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire McCaskill … 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

California’s Strict New Health Risk Assessment Guidelines May Increase Regulatory Burden on Industrial Uses and Development Projects

By Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman On March 6, 2015, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) updated its Guidance Manual for Preparation of Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) for the purpose of better characterizing exposure risks to children from air toxics.  Using the new Guidance Manual, HRAs are expected to estimate risks that … 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

SDG&E 2014 Energy Storage Systems Request for Offers Among the Largest to Date

By Michael J. Gergen, Marc T. Campopiano and Andrew H. Meyer On September 5, 2014, San Diego Gas & Electric (“SDG&E”) issued a 2014 Energy Storage System (“ESS”) Request for Offers (“RFO”) soliciting at least 25 MW—and up to 800 MW—of energy storage (the “2014 ES RFO”).  SDG&E’s 2014 ES RFO is among the largest … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Allows to Stand Ruling That Sources of Air Pollutants are Subject to State Common Law Tort Claims

By Michael G. Romey, Aron Potash and Gregory Fuoco (summer clerk) On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not review a decision by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit allowing state common law tort claims against sources of air pollutants.  This spells uncertainty for emitters, who now must look … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds NEPA and NHPA Analysis for Hawaii High-Speed Rail System

By Christopher Garrett, Daniel Brunton and Andrew Yancey  On February 18, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Department of Transportation Act to the Federal Transit Administration’s approval of a 20-mile high-speed rail project through downtown Honolulu, Hawaii.  … Continue Reading

Secretary’s Order Encourages Mitigation Efficiency and Predictability for Infrastructure Development Projects on Federal Lands

By Laura Godfrey Zagar and Andrew Yancey On October 31, 2013, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued Order No. 3330 to establish a Department-wide mitigation strategy that focuses on mitigation opportunities at the landscape level.  Order No. 3330 is part of a larger effort required by President Obama’s May 17, 2013 Memorandum for all federal agencies … Continue Reading

Federal Court Rejects U.S. EPA’s Decision to Invalidate Existing Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit

By Mia Robertshaw The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has removed a layer of uncertainty for Clean Water Act section 404 permits.  On March 23, 2012, the Court held that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its authority by purporting to invalidate an existing section 404 dredge-and-fill permit.  Nearly three years … Continue Reading
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