Category: Energy

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To Curtail Or Not To Curtail…That Is the Question

On June 12, the State Water Board issued a notice of “unavailability of water” and the “need for immediate curtailment” from various water users holding pre-1914 water rights.  Less than two weeks later on June 23, lawyers for the State Water Board reportedly stated in court this curtailment notice is advisory only, which would seem to … Continue Reading

State Water Board Receives Groundwater Monitoring Recommendations from Experts

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) has recently released recommendations from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (“LLNL”) on Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring. Pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”), the Water Board is required to develop regulations for sampling, testing, and monitoring groundwater during hydraulic fracturing operations. The bill requires groundwater monitoring … Continue Reading

Governor Selects David Bunn to Lead Department of Conservation

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown appointed David Bunn, a former fish and game official and U.C. Davis academic, to lead the California Department of Conservation. The appointment comes after the departure of Director Mark Nechodom, who resigned earlier this month. As director of the Department of Conservation, Bunn will inherit an office that administers a variety … Continue Reading

Fish & Game Code Section 1602 Is Unambiguous, Now Requiring More Water Users To Provide “1602 Notification” To “Substantially Divert” Water

On June 4, 2015, the Court of Appeal ruled that California Fish and Game Code section 1602 (“Section 1602”) unambiguously requires notification to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (“Department”) if an entity or individual plans to “substantially divert” water, even when the legal right to use the water was previously established. (Siskiyou County Farm … Continue Reading

Yet Another Lawsuit Seeking to Limit California Oil Development

The clamor over hydraulic fracturing continued Wednesday as environmental activists filed another lawsuit to limit oil and gas development in California.  The lawsuit, filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Los Padres ForestWatch, challenges a plan to open portions of federal land in California to oil and gas operations. The … Continue Reading

New Clean Water Rule Unlikely To Significantly Change Regulatory Status Quo…At Least For Now

The wait for the new rule is now over!  The EPA and Corps of Engineers have jointly issued the rule defining which waters are protected by the federal Clean Water Act, with the new rule largely reflecting historical interpretations arising from SCOTUS decisions. Please click on this link for more in-depth information and analysis prepared by Michael Campbell from … Continue Reading

Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Oil Industry Wastewater Disposal Practices

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, two environmental groups filed a lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to oil and gas wastewater injection at 2,500 wells across California. The suit, filed by the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, claims that the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) should be prohibited from … Continue Reading

Water Board Issues Proposed Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring

On April 29, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) issued a Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment and Notice of Public Workshop regarding the proposed Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring (“Model Criteria”) for areas of oil and gas well stimulation. Senate Bill 4 requires groundwater monitoring for all oil and gas … Continue Reading

Applying for California Minority-Owned Business Entity Certification: Process & Benefits

We were pleased to announce this week that client Southern Ute Alternative Energy, LLC received certification as a Minority-owned Business Entity (MBE) from the California Supplier Clearinghouse.  Southern Ute Alternative Energy, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Growth Fund (www.sugf.com). Under General Order 156, the California Public Utilities Commission … Continue Reading

State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues.  This year’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite featured an insightful panel on hydraulic fracturing regulation.  The panel, held on Sunday, October 19, was titled “Recent Developments … Continue Reading

EPA Unveils Sweeping New CO2 Rules

The world continues to shift for the energy sector in California. On Monday, U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the highly anticipated proposed CO2 standards for existing power plants in the U.S.  The proposed rules would affect existing power plants undertaking changes, as well as those not contemplating any modifications.  What’s more, states can meet the proposed standards through implementation of … Continue Reading

California’s Nine Energy Policy Goals with 2020 Target Date

By Ryan R. Waterman, Parissa Ebrahimzadeh What does California have planned for the year 2020? An ambitious collection of energy related goals. Stoel Rives attorneys Ryan Waterman and Parissa Ebrahimzadeh explore nine California energy policy goals in an article entitled “California’s “Magic” Number: Nine Goals for 2020 and Where We May Go From There,” published … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Outlines Budget Priorities for CalEPA and Natural Resources Agency

Governor Brown released a summary of his proposed 2014-2015 budget this week, including details on proposed environmental protection and natural resources spending.  The Governor’s budget provides $3.6 billion in funding for the California Environmental Protection Agency, including $3.1 billion in State funds and $54 million from the General Fund.  Proposed funding of CalEPA programs include:  $850 million … Continue Reading

Upcoming Seminar: California Land Use Law & Policy Conference

Stoel Rives is a proud sponsor of California Land Use Law & Policy Conference, featuring partner Kristen Castaños, who will speak on “A View to the Future—Anticipated Legislation and Regulation Impacting Land Use.” Stay up to date on renewable energy permitting, SB 375 and “fracking” regulation under SB 4, among many other topics. Receive $100 … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard is Constitutional on its Face

This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, ruling on the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).  The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court’s holdings in large part, in particular finding that the LCFS does not on its face violate the dormant … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court: Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel Standards Regulations Violate CEQA

In Poet, LLC et al. v. California Air Resources Board et al., the Fifth Appellate District held the Air Resources Board (“ARB”) violated CEQA and the APA with its approval of the Low Carbon Fuel Standards (“LCFS”) regulations, and ordered the lower court to issue a peremptory writ of mandate, requiring ARB to take certain … Continue Reading

DTSC Rulemaking Proposes to Classify All Discarded Solar Panels As Hazardous Waste

On June 27, California’s Department of Toxic Substance Control (“DTSC”) announced a 15 day comment period on new regulations concerning the disposal of photovoltaic (PV) modules—broadly defined as “any photovoltaic device that converts photons from the sun into electricity for general use . . . .” The proposed rulemaking would treat discarded PV modules as … Continue Reading

President Obama Releases Climate Action Plan

Today President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan, designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., prepare the U.S. for the effects of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change.  For details of the Climate Action Plan and the President’s speech on the Plan at Georgetown University, see our blog post at Renewable + … Continue Reading

SCE Announces the Retirement of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Putting uncertainty to rest for a variety of different stakeholders in California, Southern California Edison (SCE) announced today that the utility will permanently retire the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).  In addition to SCE’s press release, Governor Jerry Brown, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey, and California Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller have issued statements this morning about the … Continue Reading

New Lawsuit Challenges the California Supreme Court’s Original Jurisdiction over Power Plant Siting Cases

Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and Center for Biological Diversity (Center) filed suit on May 29, 2013 to challenge the constitutionality of a provision of California law that requires appeal directly to the California Supreme Court of any decision on a thermal power plant license by the California Energy Commission.  The Supreme Court has discretion … Continue Reading

South Coast Air Quality Management District Schedules Fifth Working Group Meeting on Proposed Rule 1304.1, Comment Period on Notice of Preparation of Environmental Assessment Open until May 8

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has scheduled its fifth working group meeting on the District’s proposed Rule 1304.1 for May 8, 2013.  The proposed Rule would impose substantial new fees for the replacement or repower of electrical generating facilities within the District, by charging developers who obtain air emissions offsets from the District’s … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Logging Road Permit Requirement

On March 20, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center 586 U.S. (2013) reversing a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that would have required Clean Water Act permits (CWA) for stormwater running off logging roads. The decision turns largely on deference to EPA’s interpretation … Continue Reading

South Coast Air Quality Management District Holds Third Rule 1304.1 Working Group Meeting

The South Coast Air Quality Management District held its third working group meeting yesterday for the District’s proposed Rule 1304.1.  The proposed Rule would impose substantial new fees on developers repowering electrical generating facilities within the District, which encompasses Orange County and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.  Under the proposed Rule, … Continue Reading

California Air Resources Board Issues Results of Quarterly Cap and Trade Allowance Auction

On February 19, 2013, the California Air Resources Board held its second auction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances for its Cap and Trade Program.  This was the first quarterly auction for 2013; the first auction was held November 14, 2012.  All ‘covered entities’ – GHG emitters regulated under Cap and Trade – were eligible … Continue Reading
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