Administrative Law

Federal Agencies Begin Rulemaking to Weaken Fuel Economy Standards

By: Nathaniel Eisen As one of numerous attempts by the Trump Administration to roll back Obama-era rules, in the coming weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are expected to announce a proposed rule that would weaken the agencies’ 2012 national standards for vehicular greenhouse gas emissions and fuel…

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White House Invites Public Comment on Possible Changes to NEPA Procedures

By: Eric Stern On June 20, 2018, the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) published a (the “Notice”) that it is considering updates to the regulations governing environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The Notice does not propose any specific changes.  Rather, it broadly solicits comments from the public on “potential revisions to…

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Federal Agencies Commit to Streamlining Environmental Reviews for Major Infrastructure Projects

On April 9, 2018, the heads of 12 federal agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) that aims to streamline and shorten federal environmental and permitting reviews for major infrastructure projects.  The MOU implements President Trump’s One Federal Decision (“OFD”) policy established in Executive Order 13807 (“EO 13807”), signed on August 15, 2017 and described…

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WOTUS Rule Litigation Abounds — New York State and Others Sue EPA and Army Corps over Delayed Implementation of Obama-Era WOTUS Rule

On February 6, 2018, New York State filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (together, “the agencies”) for the suspension of a 2015 regulation seeking to clarify the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), dubbed the “Clean Water Rule”…

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DEC Challenges FERC’s Decision to Undercut Its Water Quality Certification Denial for Millennium Pipeline Project

In an October 13, 2017 letter, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) challenged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) decision that, by failing to act, DEC had waived its authority to issue a Clean Water Act water quality certification for Millennium Pipeline Company LLC’s (“Millennium”) proposed Valley Lateral Project, a 7.8-mile natural…

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Second Circuit Decision Provides States Latitude to Enact Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

On June 28, 2017, in Allco Finance Ltd. v. Klee, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected two related challenges alleging that Connecticut programs pertaining to renewable energy generation violated federal law, bolstering states’ flexibility to craft renewable energy incentive programs. In doing so, the Second Circuit became the first federal court…

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