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  Second, EPA is proposing to keep the MATS in place but is requesting comment on whether the standards should be rescinded.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
Join Doug Smith and Kelsey Bagot at EUCI's upcoming FERC Transmission Ratemaking Course in Chicago on April 8-9, 2019. READ MORE
On Friday, April 5th Dan Press is moderating a panel at the Four Corners Warrior Spirit Conference, whose mission is to further the healing of historical trauma among Native Americans through Indigenous Wisdom.  Dan is vocal advocate on the front lines of the historical trauma.  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
PHMSA Extends Deadlines for Complying with New Plastic Pipeline Regulations and more in this installment of the Pipeline Safety Update. READ MORE
Licensees Seek Waiver of Section 401 Certification under D.C. Circuit Precedent On January 25, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued a decision in Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing of PacifiCorp’s Klamath Hydroelectric Project in Oregon and California, holding that the withdrawal and resubmission of water quality certification requests under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) does not trigger a new statutory period of review.  Since that time, at least two other California licensees engaged in relicensing have requested FERC to find that the state has waived its Section 401 authority by engaging in the withdraw and resubmit process. On February... READ MORE
Our Technology Regulation and Policy Team examines AI generated text and more in this month's Emerging Technologies Update. READ MORE