Senate Passes Water Infrastructure Act, Sending it to Trump

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 99-1 to pass a water infrastructure and reform bill authorizing dozens of new projects to upgrade drinking water, wastewater, and irrigation systems. (S.B. 2800 (2018) The bill contains many provisions of interest to those involved in the hydropower, dam, or agricultural industries, among others: • Rehabilitation of Army Corps-constructed […]

California Going it Alone: Keeping GHG Emissions Standards High

On Friday, September 28, 2018 the California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) stated that automakers that wish to sell vehicles in California still need to comply with the state’s stricter fuel economy rules. The ARB voted to affirm the “deemed to comply” provision of a key greenhouse gas regulation adopted in California in 2012 to ensure […]

Battle of the Dusky Gopher Frog

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”).  This case could have far-reaching implications curbing federally-designated critical habitat designations by the USFWS. At the heart of this case is the USFWS’ 2012 decision to designate 1,500 acres of private land in Louisiana owned by Markle […]

DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke Under Scrutiny

Ryan Zinke, secretary of the Interior Department, has been a key figure in the Trump administration’s push to roll back burdensome environmental regulations and ramp up domestic energy production. Mr. Zinke is facing increased scrutiny based on allegations that he abused travel spending by paying for his wife to travel with him, and maintained close […]

Mining Companies Fight Tribal and Environmental Groups’ Challenges to an Issued BLM Permit

Constantine Metal Resource Ltd., Alyu Mining Co. Inc., and Haines Mining & Exploration Inc. fought back last Thursday against the Chilkat Indian Village and Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s claims that the BLM violated NEPA when it issued Constantine a permit for mineral exploration in Alaska. The environmental and tribal groups believe that the permit allows […]

Circuit Split: Regulatory Reach of Clean Water Act

On September 24, 2018, the 6th Circuit issued rulings in two cases over the question of how direct a connection there must be between the source of pollution and waters that were allegedly polluted for the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) to apply. The 6th Circuit rulings created a split in the circuits on issue of […]

Drama: Fluctuating Status of the WOTUS Rule

The Waters of the United States Rule (“WOTUS Rule”) implemented under the Obama administration in 2015 has gone through much back and forth since the beginning. Numerous states and industry groups sued to stop implementation of the WOTUS Rule in 2015. The Sixth Circuit consolidated various challenges and issued a nationwide stay of the WOTUS […]

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