The firm’s public policy practice is pleased to provide the 2019 Congressional Calendar, which notes days of session for both chambers of Congress as well as federal holidays. READ MORE
On December 11, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) (collectively the “Agencies”) released a proposed rule re-defining the term “waters of the United States” as applied under the Clean Water Act (“Proposed Rule”). If finalized, the Proposed Rule would replace the definition of “waters of the United States” adopted under 2015 Obama-era “WOTUS Rule” (the “2015 WOTUS Rule”)  As explained in previous Van Ness Feldman alerts, the 2015 WOTUS Rule expanded federal control over several types of waterbodies, particularly with respect to tributaries, adjacent waters, and wetlands.   The 2015 WOTUS Rule has been subject to numerous legal challenges.  As part of these challenges, a patchwork... READ MORE
Issuance of the Fourth National Climate Assessment On November 23, 2018, the Federal Administration released a major scientific report on the climate impacts to the United States.  The report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume 2, Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States,[1] predicts that if significant steps are not taken, the damage caused by climate change will significantly impact the American economy by century’s end. It lays out a detailed picture of how communities across the country are already feeling the effects of climate change. Volume 1 of the NCA4, known as the Climate Science Special Report (“CSSR”)[2], was published in November 2017.  It summarized the state-of-the-art knowledge about how climate is affecting... READ MORE
Gwen Keyes Fleming will serve as moderator at ELI's workshop for policy development. READ MORE
Dan Press will be a featured speaker at the annual National TERO Convention in Cherokee, North Carolina. READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman, Beveridge & Diamond, and NAWL's Environmental & Energy Practice Area Affinity Group cordially invite you to a breakfast program: Environmental Review and Permitting Reform for Infrastructure Projects.   The program is being coordinated by a group including Andrea Hudson Campbell, partner in our environment practice, and panelists will include  Gwen Keyes Fleming, partner in our environmental practice. READ MORE
Wishing you a peaceful holiday season and a New Year filled with possibilities and prosperity. READ MORE
VNF worked with the Seattle City Attorney’s office to defend the City of Seattle in an appeal of its environmental review for Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability Proposal.  Under the proposal, the City would upzone 27 neighborhoods, allowing increased development opportunities, while simultaneously imposing a requirement on developers with projects in those areas to provide or pay for affordable housing units—which will result in thousands of affordable homes over the next decade. READ MORE
Partner T.C. Richmond has joined the Board of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a nonprofit organization that leverages the voices of a large and diverse group of allied interests working together to obtain public funding for new local and state parks, wildlife habitat, and preservation of working farm and forest lands.  In 1989, the Coalition spearheaded the Legislature’s creation of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), the State’s premier conservation and recreation grant program which, to date, has administered over $1.3 billion in state, local, and private dollars for over 1,200 projects.  The Coalition also leads education and advocacy efforts on behalf of the national Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in... READ MORE
PHMSA Issues Final Rule Addressing Plastic Pipe On November 20, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule amending the pipeline safety regulations applicable to the use of plastic pipe in the transportation of gas.  The amended regulations apply to new, repaired, and replaced plastic pipe and will become effective January 22, 2019.   Below is an overview of the amendments to the regulations.  Traceability and tracking provisions delayed:  PHMSA delayed adopting proposed definitions of “traceability information” and “tracking information” and the proposed requirements that operators implement the tracking and traceability provisions of industry standard ASTM F2897-11a and retain tracking and... READ MORE
United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) On November 30, 2018, President Trump, President Peña Nieto, and Prime Minister Trudeau signed an updated NAFTA agreement after more than a year and a half of negotiations.  Rebranded the United States Mexico Canada Free Trade Agreement or USMCA, Mexico’s endorsement comes a day before President-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, assumes office, clearing a critical political hurdle for the ratification of the new agreement. Obrador, the head of the left-leaning National Regeneration Movement and a critic of Peña Nieto’s energy reforms, took an active role in USMCA’s negotiations but only agreed to support the deal so long as it is signed before his Presidency. Energy Specific Provisions The... READ MORE
FERC Moves to Implement America’s Water Infrastructure Act On November 13, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice Establishing Schedule Pursuant to America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA).  The AWIA was enacted on October 23, 2018.  As reported in our November 2018 newsletter, the AWIA includes measures to promote new hydropower development at existing nonpowered dams and development of closed-loop pumped storage projects.  The law directs FERC to establish within 180 days an expedited licensing process for projects at existing, nonpowered dams which: (1) have not previously been authorized for hydropower; (2) use for generation the withdrawals, diversions, releases, or flows from an existing impoundment... READ MORE