On Friday, October 24, 2014, Judge Martinez (Western District of Washington) issued his final order in National Wildlife Federation v. FEMA, et al., Case No. C11-2044-RSM.  Judge Martinez granted the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Motion for Summary Judgment affirming FEMA’s approach to implementing the 2008 Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the effects of the National Flood Insurance Program on threatened and endangered species (T&E species) and critical habitat in the Puget Sound region (NFIP BiOp). While ostensibly a significant victory for FEMA, the implications of this decision for local governments and property owners/developers are murky.  According to the decision, where an action... READ MORE
On August 15, 2014, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit or Court) unanimously denied the appeals of forty-five petitioners and sixteen intervenors, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order No. 1000.  South Carolina Public Service Authority v. FERC, Nos. 12-1232 et al. (D.C. Cir. Aug. 15, 2014).  FERC’s landmark rulemaking, issued in August 2011 and supplemented thereafter by Order Nos. 1000-A and 1000-B, implemented a series of significant reforms related to the regional and interregional planning and development of electric transmission facilities, including mandatory cost allocation to beneficiaries of new transmission projects and the elimination of... READ MORE
In a reprise of the 2009 case Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC (ICC I), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has once again set aside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of the PJM Interconnection, LLC’s (PJM) methodology for allocating the costs of certain high voltage transmission projects planned and approved by PJM before February 1, 2013.  The case raises questions about what analysis of benefits is needed to show that a particular cost allocation will be “roughly commensurate” with the distribution of benefits, and in particular what support is required for proposals to “socialize” transmission project costs among the utilities within a regional transmission organization or other regional... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman LLP and B2Bwebinars.net are pleased to announce our upcoming interactive web conference, Recent Developments in the Regulation of Small-Scale Liquefaction Facilities.  The webinar will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET, and will feature Van Ness Feldman attorneys, Lawrence Acker and Keith Coyle. The regulation of small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities has taken on greater significance in recent months, primarily as a result of growing commercial interest in pursuing these projects to capitalize on abundant domestic shale gas supplies. Two experienced practitioners will discuss the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and... READ MORE
Kyle Danish, head of Van Ness Feldman's Climate Change practice will be featured on a panel entitled, "Strength in Numbers? Multistate Compliance With the Clean Power Plan" at NARUC's 126th Annual Meeting.   The panel will focus on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan for regulating greenhouse gases, which could potentially transform the power sector. Although the Clean Power Plan offers specific State goals, it also leaves open the opportunity for States to work together-but what would that look like? In this panel, attendees will learn about the options that might be available for States who choose not to go it alone. Is cap-and-trade the only option? Is there a role for regional transmission organizations for... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's Molly Lawrence and T.C. Richmond will speak at this upcoming conference on climate change regulation and litigation. Click here for more information. READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman client, Skyonic Corporation, will open an industrial chemical plant next week that will capture the carbon dioxide emitted from a coal-fired cement plant and use it to produce chemicals like sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid by reacting it with rock salt, in lieu of traditional methods of mining.  Members of Van Ness Feldman’s government relations and federal funding teams undertook major outreach efforts on behalf of Sykonic to help secure a $28 million grant from the Department of Energy to build the plant and helped with negotiating the cooperative agreement for the project. According to Skyonic President and CEO, Joe Jones, “[the plant is] the largest carbon-capture plant in the world that isn’t on the... READ MORE
In January 2014, the firm became a pro bono partner with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH), whose mission is to provide legal assistance and advocacy services to Washington, DC’s low-income or no-income communities. In conjunction with WLCH, the firm recently assisted a mother who was living in a homeless shelter with her four children in overturning a decision by the Washington DC Housing Authority (DCHA) refusing to process her application for housing assistance because of alleged past debt, even though the statute of limitations had already passed and they were no longer considered legal debts.  Through the talent and persistence of Van Ness Feldman attorneys Ahuva Battams, Tyson Kade, Avi Zevin and Rich Bonnifield, a series of... READ MORE
McKesson, the largest healthcare services company in the United States, has recently teamed with World Vision and other donors to assemble Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits that have been sent to Sierra Leone to help support healthcare workers in the region as they attempt to control the Ebola outbreak that has afflicted Western Africa in recent months.  McKesson Medical-Surgical donated four million pairs of latex gloves to World Vision– enough to meet the entire country of Sierra Leone’s needs for the next five months. “I am very thankful that we are in a position to donate these medical supplies at a time when the help is so desperately needed in West Africa,” said Stanton McComb, President, McKesson Medical-Surgical. “Van Ness Feldman... READ MORE