Environmental and Approvals

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 implementing the DRECP in March 2015 in response to public comments. Under Phase I of this approach, between 81,000 and

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 than half over the last decade. As discussed in our prior entry, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is under a

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 in the case is a special regulation that the Fish and Wildlife Service adopted under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act

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 other things, the potential environmental impacts of a permit system for regulating and authorizing incidental take, and potential mitigation requirements.  The

By Ann Claassen and Eli Hopson

On May 29, EPA took long-awaited action on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), with the unusual step of proposing standards for several years at once. EPA is reproposing the 2014 RFS—its original proposal of November 2013 having been heavily criticized—and is proposing, for the first time, the 2015 and 2016 RFSs. EPA proposes to set the compliance levels for 2014 at the level of production that actually occurred, while recognizing that some reallocation of

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 the designation of critical habitat.

The proposed new rules, for which 60 days of public notice and comment will commence upon their publication in

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 population segment” under the ESA because it has significant genetic differences from other greater sage-grouse. The population had declined significantly from urbanization, encroachment of sagebrush

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 population in the eastern portion of its range over the last decade.  In 2006, a new form of fungal disease, known as white-nose syndrome, began

By Chris Garrett, Cindy Starrett, Jim Arnone, John Morris

On April 8, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose (Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County et al.), S212072, a case with statewide significance for local affordable housing measures.  At issue is the City of San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), adopted by its City Council on January 12, 2010, which requires new residential

By Paul Davies and R. Andrew Westgate

This document is a translation of the recently released Tentative Measures for the Administration of Trading of Carbon Emissions Rights promulgated by the National Reform and Development Commission (“NDRC”) on December 10, 2014.  As discussed in a recent article by Latham & Watkins partner Paul Davies, this development represents the first details the NDRC has provided on how the national carbon market in China, currently the world’s second largest consumer of energy, will