Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Project Siting and Approval

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Investing in the Environment — European Commission Announces Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund will promote advanced low-carbon technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote decarbonisation. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green By the end of 2018, the European Commission will set up an Innovation Fund (the Fund) to aid decarbonisation. To achieve this, the European Commission will amend the EU Emissions Trading … Continue Reading

Conseil d’Etat Issues Advisory Opinion on Environmental Permits Challenged Before Administrative Courts

A recent Environmental Code amendment aims to invigorate sluggish legal processes delaying environmental project development. By Paul A. Davies and Fabrice Fages Third parties and local NGOs often bring legal action against environmental permits in France, hampering the development of environmental projects in the country. An example of a practical consequence is that the development … Continue Reading

IMO Strategy to Halve Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Shipping By 2050

The Initial Strategy provides the first global climate framework for the shipping sector and will support Paris Agreement targets. By Paul Davies, Janice Schneider, and Eun-Kyung Lee Background In April 2018, the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in international shipping (Initial … Continue Reading

Post-Brexit Environmental Principles and Governance Bill Consultation Launches in UK

Consultation document proposes replacing the European Commission with a new environmental watchdog, among other recommendations. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The UK government has announced a consultation in relation to the proposed new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill, which aims to ensure maintained and strengthened environmental protection following the UK’s exit from … Continue Reading

Latin America Addresses Environmental Priorities at Green Climate Fund Dialogue

Representatives from 19 countries explore climate responses in several areas, including urban development, transportation, renewable energy, early warning systems, and agriculture. By Rosa Espín and Leticia Sitges Nearly 200 participants from 19 different countries recently convened in Colombia for the Green Climate Fund’s (the Fund’s) first Structured Dialogue with Latin America. The meeting, which was … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Finds EIR’s Air Quality Analysis Deficient

By Christopher Garrett, James Erselius, and Samantha Seikkula CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[1] In a partially published opinion[2] issued January 12, 2018, City of Long Beach v. City of Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court’s judgment requiring the City of … Continue Reading

Carbon Markets Must Balance Stability and Adaptability When Implementing Emissions Trading Systems

As China begins to implement its emissions trading system, the country may look around the globe for regulatory guidance. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China established its national emissions trading system (ETS) as a key component of the plan to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. The country’s participation in the … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Partial Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Successful CEQA Litigant

By Christopher W. Garrett, Natalie C. Rogers, and Kimberly D. Farbota CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[1] In a published opinion issued January 12, 2018, Heron Bay Homeowners Assn. v. City of San Leandro, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s partial grant of Heron Bay Homeowners Association’s request for … Continue Reading

New Trump Administration Policies on Environmental Enforcement, Settlements, and Clean Air Act Implementation

Webcast addresses recent EPA and DOJ policy developments with important implications for permitting, enforcement, and litigation. By Joel C. Beauvais, Julia A. Hatcher, Karl A. Karg, Claudia M. O’Brien, and Stacey L. VanBelleghem Latham’s Environment, Land & Resources Department hosted a 60-minute webcast on March 29, “New Trump Administration Policies on Environmental Enforcement, Settlements, and … Continue Reading

New York Releases Offshore Wind Master Plan

Plan outlines next steps for procuring 2,400 MW by 2030, with a likely significant benefit for New York’s economic development. By Tommy Beaudreau, Janice Schneider, Michael Gergen, and David Amerikaner New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have released the New York State Offshore Wind Master … Continue Reading

CEQA Developments: How New Proposed Regulations and Streamlined Legislation Will Impact California Projects

Webcast addresses recent developments involving the California Environment Quality Act. By Marc Campopiano, Chris Garrett, and Winston Stromberg The Project Siting & Approvals Practice hosted a 60-minute webcast on February 21, “CEQA Developments: How New Proposed Regulations and Streamlined Legislation Will Impact California Projects.” Speakers provided an overview of the proposed updates to the California … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Unveils Three Offshore Wind Farm Proposals

New England wind farms poised to lead the way in utilities converting from fossil fuel to wind generation. By Tommy Beaudreau, Janice Schneider, and David Amerikaner The race is on to build the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in the United States (US) on the federal Outer Continental Shelf. In December, three companies — Bay … Continue Reading

Interior Department Excludes Incidental Take Liability Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

By Janice Schneider, Sara Orr, Jennifer Roy and James Erselius Reversing a long-standing federal legal position, the US Interior Department recently stated that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not impose liability for the incidental take of protected birds. The 41-page Solicitor’s Opinion (number M-37050) withdraws and replaces a prior Solicitor’s Opinion (number M-37041), issued … Continue Reading

Governor Cuomo Announces Ambitious Clean Energy Agenda for New York

By Tommy Beaudreau, Janice Schneider, and David Amerikaner New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the 2018 Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda last week as the 20th proposal of his 2018 State of the State address. The far-reaching proposal charts a path forward for further progress in advancing clean energy in New York this year, … Continue Reading

Strong End of 2017 for Oil and Gas on Federal Lands and Waters in Alaska

By Tommy Beaudreau and Janice Schneider Alaska is kicking off 2018 following several major developments related to oil and gas exploration and production on federal lands on the North Slope, both onshore and on the offshore outer continental shelf (OCS). In May 2017, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited Alaska and declared that “the path for … Continue Reading

DOI Identifies Burdens to Energy Development on US Tribal Land

By Janice M. Schneider, Tommy P. Beaudreau, Stacey L. VanBelleghem, and Nikki Buffa Stakeholders interested in energy development on US tribal lands will welcome recent Department of Interior (DOI) efforts that identify a key burden to energy development on these lands — as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA’s) plans to address it. … Continue Reading

BOEM Renewable Energy Task Force Discusses Potential New Wind Energy Areas Offshore New York

By Tommy Beaudreau, Janice Schneider, and David Amerikaner The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) convened the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the New York Bight to discuss BOEM’s draft Call for Information and Nominations (Call) on December 4, 2017. The meeting, which was held via a webinar, marked an important step in the … Continue Reading

Land Use Sector and CEQA Projects Targeted for Greenhouse Gas Reductions in Proposed Scoping Plan Update

By Marc Campopiano and Shannon Cheng A proposed Scoping Plan Update released by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) targets the land use sector and development projects for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. The proposed update was spurred by the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 32 and Assembly Bill (AB) 398, which codified California’s goal of reducing … Continue Reading

China Encourages Green Finance to Meet Clean Development Goals

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On 18 October 2017, the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will convene, after the week-long National Day holiday, marking one of the most important dates on the Chinese political calendar. Among the issues that National Congress members will surely discuss, is the importance of implementing strategies … Continue Reading

China’s War on Pollution: Measuring the Economic Impact

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate China’s State Council released an “Opinion Concerning Establishment of a Long-Term Mechanism for Early-Warning and Monitoring of Environmental and Natural Resources Carrying Capacity,” which will halt major projects in heavily polluted areas, according to a report from the official Xinhua news agency. The opinion also calls for authorities to … Continue Reading

California’s Supreme Court Denies ARB Petition To Review LCFS Case

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kimberly Farbota In a previous post, we described how potential delays in the resolution of the case commonly known as POET I could create uncertainty regarding the future of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). On August 23, 2017, the Supreme Court of California issued an order: (1) denying California … Continue Reading

Uncertainty Looms with Delays to Resolution of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program Challenges

By Joshua Bledsoe and Kimberly Farbota Two recent developments in the interrelated legal challenges commonly known as POET I and POET II may create additional uncertainty for the future of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program (LCFS). Earlier this year, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District (Court of Appeal) issued two … Continue Reading

Court Reissues LCFS Opinion Per ARB Petition For Reconsideration

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Max Friedman As discussed in a previous post, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District (Court of Appeal) ruled on April 10, 2017 that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) had failed to properly follow a writ of peremptory mandate (the Writ) requiring ARB to remedy violations … Continue Reading
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