On June 7, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an updated guidance document (Updated Guidance) that clarifies and provides recommendations to states and tribes concerning their implementation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The Updated Guidance, issued pursuant to Executive Order 13868, includes procedural and substantive reforms to the Section 401 process to reduce delays and uncertainty among applicants, states, tribes, and federal permitting agencies.  The Updated Guidance is the latest in a series of recent executive and judicial developments that have significantly changed the Section 401 landscape, particularly for gas pipelines, hydropower projects, and other energy infrastructure projects. READ MORE
Washington State recently passed an ambitious series of clean energy legislation that will affect both businesses and individuals in unprecedented ways.  The legislation provides for a rapid transition to zero-emitting electricity generation, establishment of conservation standards for energy use in new buildings, new efficiency standards for appliances, and a phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons used as refrigerants. READ MORE
The issuance of IRS Notice 2019-32, Request for Comments on Credit for Carbon Oxide Sequestration, by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, begins their process of developing regulatory guidance to implement the amendments to Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 of U.S. Code) included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), which became law on February 9, 2018.  The modifications in the BBA were designed to enhance the existing tax incentive for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) to promote investment in CCUS technology and carbon capture project implementation at electric generating plants and industrial facilities. The benefits of the amendments to Section 45Q can’t be realized without guidance... READ MORE
Doug Smith and Sharon White will both present at LSI’s 16th Annual Conference on Electric Power in the Southwest in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Doug will provide a federal energy update covering how commissioner turnover is affecting FERC’s policy agenda, including partisan politics and the practical impacts of recent and current court cases. Sharon will be discussing PURPA and intermittent renewables, including what recent developments mean for transmission and the power mix in the West as states transition to cleaner power. For more information and to register, please click here.   READ MORE
Join Terese (T.C.) Richmond during the Water Law and Resource Management in Washington Conference on June 27-28, 2019 in Seattle, WA. READ MORE
Join Terese (T.C.) Richmond, Duncan Greene, and Timothy Mcharg in their discussion on Climate Change Resilience, Mitigation, and Carbon Finance in the 2019 Northwest Land Camp. This session will consider the various ways that land trusts around the country are starting to “mainstream” (or incorporate) climate change resilience, mitigation, and carbon finance into their planning and decision-making processes. We will also discuss how land trusts can take advantage of ecosystem service markets when adaptation and mitigation measures overlap with monetization activities like carbon offset projects, with specific examples of forest and grassland carbon projects. After these discussions, we will facilitate a conversation with attendees about their... READ MORE
For the eighth year in a row, The Legal 500 United States 2019, recognized Van Ness Feldman as a national leader in Energy Regulatory law.  READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman was named a Best Law Firm for Female Attorneys by Law360’s 2019 Glass Ceiling Report. READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman received high praise in the newly released Chambers USA  2019 rankings.  All of the firm’s core practice areas-- including Electricity, Oil & Gas, Environmental, Native American, Transportation, Real Estate, and Land Use and Zoning practices received national rankings.   READ MORE
FERC Order Retroactively Extends Commencement of Construction Deadlines under AWIA On May 7, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order which retroactively extended the deadlines to commence and complete construction of the Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project No. 13123.  The license was granted in June 2014.  In 2016, pursuant to Federal Power Act (FPA) Section 13 as it then read, FERC granted the licensee’s request for a one-time two-year extension until June 19, 2018, of the deadline to commence construction.  The licensee did not commence construction by the June 19 deadline, making the license subject to termination under FPA Section 13. FERC had not commenced the license termination process when, on... READ MORE
PHMSA Stays Enforcement of 45th Edition of API Specification 5L, other PHMSA updates, and updates on Reauthorization of the Pipeline Safety Act.   READ MORE
D.C. Circuit Denies Rehearing of Hoopa Valley Tribe Order On April 26, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued orders denying requests filed by several environmental organizations for rehearing of the Court’s decision in Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC (Hoopa Valley) finding 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.  The organizations, including American Rivers, California Trout, and Trout Unlimited, sought rehearing of the decision by the original panel of three judges who issued the decision, or rehearing en banc by all active judges on the Court.  The Court denied both... READ MORE