Our WOTUS team examines new federal guidance on Section 404 permitting. READ MORE
On January 25, 2019, in Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) concluded that a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hydroelectric licensee’s repeated withdrawal and resubmission of water quality certification requests under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) pursuant to a written agreement with state water quality agencies does not trigger a new statutory period of state water quality review.  The D.C. Circuit held that, as a consequence, FERC acted arbitrarily and capriciously by not concluding that the States of California and Oregon had waived their water quality authority under Section 401.  The D.C. Circuit’s opinion does not appear limited to the particular facts of the case and... READ MORE
On December 27, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) issued a rulemaking package, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants:  Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units – Reconsideration of Supplemental Finding and Residual Risk and Technology Review, which would impact affected power plants in four key ways.  First, the proposal reconsiders the 2016 Supplemental Finding justifying the costs associated with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).  Second, EPA is proposing to keep the MATS in place but is requesting comment on whether the standards should be rescinded.  Third, EPA is proposing the Agency’s risk and technology review (RTR) for covered power plants and concluding that no new... READ MORE
On Friday, February 1st,  Gwen Keyes Fleming, a partner in the firm’s environmental practice, will deliver the Keynote Address at Vermont Law School’s Black Law Student’s Association’s  Black History Month kickoff event.  READ MORE
Gwen Keyes Fleming will serve as moderator at ELI's workshop for policy development. READ MORE
In honor of Black History Month, everyone in the DC office gathered for an enlightening presentation about the Harlem Renaissance which included musical trivia, and to hear moving personal anecdotes. READ MORE
We are honored to introduce our newest colleagues, Partner Erin Anderson and Of Counsel Sara Leverette, who join VNF’s Seattle team from Stoel Rives. Their experience, and significant understanding of the unique challenges inherent in permitting developments throughout the region, brings additional depth and expertise to our highly regarded team. READ MORE
Recognizing client demand for efficient environmental cost recovery strategies particularly tailored to today’s challenging business conditions, Van Ness Feldman has launched an environmental cost recovery unit (CRU) that will enable clients to maximize use of customized fee structures and insurance assets for environmental cost recovery.  The new CRU will be led by Michael Goodstein and an elite team comprised of former government enforcement attorneys and insurance recovery specialists to support firm clients in prioritizing, funding, and maximizing environmental cost recovery efforts.  READ MORE
DOT Invites Public Input on Agency Guidance Recommended for Repeal or Revision and more in this edition of the Pipeline Safety Update. READ MORE
D.C. Circuit Holds that States Cannot Use Section 401 Authority to Delay Hydropower Relicensing On January 25, 2019, in Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) concluded that a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hydroelectric licensee’s repeated withdrawal and resubmission of water quality certification requests under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) pursuant to a written agreement with state water quality agencies does not trigger a new statutory period of state water quality review.  The D.C. Circuit held that, as a consequence, FERC acted arbitrarily and capriciously by not concluding that the States of California and Oregon (States) had waived their water quality authority... READ MORE
By the Van Ness Feldman Cybersecurity Team We are pleased to provide our 2nd Annual Cybersecurity Year in Review/Year Ahead Analysis to clients and friends of the firm.  Van Ness Feldman’s cybersecurity team has consolidated and summarized important cyber related developments from 2018, as well as provided some analysis about the direction cybersecurity issues may take in 2019 as they relate to the interests of firm clients.  Our team continues to track both cybersecurity law and policy developments in a wide range of critical infrastructure areas, chief among them are energy, water, and health, as well as highlighting a handful growing fields. Specifically, this document summarizes new regulatory initiatives undertaken by federal agencies... READ MORE