EJ Evolution: EPA Issues Draft Revision of Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Emily von Qualen, Amy Tomlinson and Clare M. Bienvenu
1w ago
The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued draft guidance updating how agencies are to evaluate environmental justice (EJ) concerns when undertaking regulatory actions, entitled “Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis” (the “Guidance”). This 130-page document outlines analytic expectations and technical approaches that can be used by agency analysts in such an evaluation.  The draft revision updates and expands on EPA’s original guidance issued in 2016. The draft guidance addresses scientific advancements, peer-reviewed Agency guidance, and ..read more
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EPA’s Proposed Rule on Vessel Incidental Discharges Brings VIDA One Step Closer to Full Implementation
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Nicolette Kraska, Emily von Qualen and Clare M. Bienvenu
1w ago
On October 18, 2023, the EPA published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“SNPR”) regarding incidental discharges from vessels, proposing national performance standards under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (“VIDA”). The VIDA, enacted in December 2018, will standardize incidental discharge permits and regulations, replacing the 2013 Vessel General Permit (“VGP”) that commercial vessels are currently required to follow. The SNPR presents new data on ballast water management systems and solicits public comments on the standards and definitions applicable to ballast tanks, hulls a ..read more
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Oil Spill Liability: OPA 90 v. the IMO’S CLC
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Jessie Elizabeth Shifalo, Emily von Qualen and Clare M. Bienvenu
1M ago
Most American maritime and environmental attorneys and vessel owners are familiar with OPA 90 and oil spill liability in the United States. But what happens when a vessel spills oil in the territorial waters of another country? As of June 2023, 146 countries have ratified or adopted the International Maritime Organization’s (“IMO”) International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992 (the “CLC”). The CLC addresses civil liability for maritime oil spills.1 Notably, the United States is a member of the IMO, but it has not ratified the CLC. While there are many similarities ..read more
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LDNR Issues Proposed Rule on Venting, Flaring
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Cristian M. Soler and James E. Lapeze
2M ago
The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) has proposed a rule that will significantly restrict the practice of venting and flaring at wellsites in an effort to address natural gas waste in Louisiana. The proposal comes in the wake of a recent analysis commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund, which found that oil and gas operators in Louisiana wasted over $16 million worth of gas in 2019 through venting and flaring alone, among other findings. The LDNR received over 140 public comments during the comment period, which comments consisted of technical feedback, concerns regardi ..read more
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EPA and Army Corps Release New WOTUS Rule
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Clare M. Bienvenu, Emily von Qualen, Greg L. Johnson and Lou E. Buatt
2M ago
On September 8, 2023, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule narrowing the scope of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA) such that certain wetlands are removed from federal jurisdiction. The final rule revises the agency regulations in light of the U.S. Supreme Court holding in its recent landmark decision, Sackett v. EPA. However, the final rule does not clarify some phrases and terms used in the Sackett decision, leaving room for agency discretion and ambiguity in various permitting scenarios. In line with the Sackett holding, the fi ..read more
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First-Ever Gulf of Mexico Wind Auction Results in Only 1 Wind Lease Offshore Louisiana. What Happens Next?
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Jana Grauberger, Kathleen L. Doody and Valkyrie "Kyrie" Buffa
3M ago
GOM Lease Sale:  The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held its long-anticipated offshore wind lease sale for the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.  Three GOM leases were offered for sale, with one located offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, covering 102,480 acres (OCS-G 37334), and two located offshore Galveston, Texas, covering 102,480 acres (OCS-G 37335) and 96,786 acres (OCS-G 37336). Disappointingly, the sale resulted in a single $5.6 million winning bid for the lease area offshore Louisiana, submitted by th ..read more
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The Liskow Legislative Minute – Week 5
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Neil Abramson and Jeff Lieberman
3M ago
We’re now past the halfway point of the session. Six of the nine House CCS bills have now been effectively killed in the House Natural Resources Committee. HB 10 and HB 35 were involuntarily deferred in this week’s committee meeting on Wednesday, which essentially means the bills were voted down. HB 10 sought to remove eminent domain authority for CCS projects. If the eminent domain bill had passed, it could have effectively stopped most CCS projects around the state as eminent domain is a tool of last resort to obtain permission to acquire rights from a landowner who generally cannot be loca ..read more
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The Liskow Legislative Minute – Week 3
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Neil Abramson and Jeff Lieberman
3M ago
Hurry Up and Wait. This week was set up to be a busy week for CCS bills, but everything was postponed. HB 571 was expected to be scheduled for a vote on the House floor this week, but it was recommitted to the House Committee on Appropriations based on the fiscal note attached to the bill. The bill contains a future (if ever realized) severance tax on carbon dioxide if it is ever removed from CCS storage facilities. The Department of Revenue estimated it would incur a one-time administrative cost of $444,000 to integrate that new tax into their system. It is unlikely that the fiscal ..read more
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The Liskow Legislative Minute – Week 2
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Neil Abramson and Jeff Lieberman
3M ago
HB 571 is expected to be scheduled for a vote on the House floor next Wednesday, April 26, or Thursday, April 27. HB 571 moved favorably out of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment on April 20, as amended[1]. The adopted amendments include the following: use of more precise language identifying the proper local government officials for receipt of various notices related to CCS activities; a requirement for an environmental analysis in connection with a Class VI permit; and additional conditions specifying that liability releases are revoked in cases of actual or threatened ..read more
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The Liskow Legislative Minute
The Energy Law Blog » Energy & Natural Resources
by Neil Abramson and Jeff Lieberman
3M ago
Week 1 Update (4/14/2023): And it begins. The House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment will hear Speaker Schexnayder’s House Bill 571 on CCS next Thursday, April 20 at 9:30 am. HB 571 would make comprehensive changes to the CCS statutes, including notice provisions to local authorities, allocation of funds to local authorities, and increased financial and regulatory requirements on operators. Being the Speaker’s bill, one might expect it to pass the committee although CCS as a whole is sure to garner significant discussion. The other eight house bills on CCS will be scheduled at a ..read more
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