Environmental Impact Review

Council on Environmental Quality’s New NEPA Regulations: An Analysis

On September 14, 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality’s (“CEQ”) Final Rule overhauling its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) became effective.  The Final Rule represents the first comprehensive revision of the NEPA regulations since their initial issuance in 1978, and introduces process-based and substantive changes to the NEPA regulations, codifies existing case law and…

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Court Narrows Scope of NWP 12 Ruling; Corps Appeals to Ninth Circuit

Last month, we wrote about a recent decision from the US District Court for the District of Montana vacating Nationwide Permit (“NWP”) 12, the general permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) for pipelines and other utility projects. On May 11, the court narrowed the scope of the decision, vacating and enjoining the…

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EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Publish Final “Waters of the United States” Rule

On April 21, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (together, the “Agencies”) published a final rule in the Federal Register redefining the term “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  The Agencies previously issued pre-publication notice of the final rule on January 23, 2020. …

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Nationwide Permit for Pipelines and Utility Projects Vacated on ESA Grounds

On April 15, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Montana issued a decision in Northern Plains Resource Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, vacating Nationwide Permit (“NWP”) 12, a general permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) for pipelines and other utility projects. The case was brought, in…

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NY’s Governor Cuomo Signs Law Introducing One-Stop Shop for Renewable Energy Project Permitting

On April 3, 2020, with the passage of the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, New York adopted sweeping changes to the siting of large-scale renewable energy projects.[1] The new law will streamline and accelerate the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects, and is intended to help New York achieve the Climate…

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NEPA Review of Pipeline Project Upheld by D.C. Circuit – With Asterisk

On June 4, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision in Birckhead, et al. v. FERC, in which the petitioners challenged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) environmental review of a natural gas pipeline project.[1] Although the court ultimately rejected the challenge, the court suggested in dicta that FERC should do more to obtain information on…

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