This update reviews the major results of the lame duck session of the 113th Congress, which adjourned sine die Tuesday evening, December 16th.  The 114th Congress will commence January 6, 2015.  Also in this update will be further developments regarding the leadership of congressional committees for the 114th Congress. This will be our last public policy update of 2014.  During the week of January 5th, we will distribute an update that focuses solely on the Budget Control Act of 1974 which established the budget reconciliation process – a likely major vehicle for policy development in the 114th Congress. Until then, we wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and a peaceful, prosperous and successful 2015. PRESIDENT SIGNS $1.1 TRILLION FUNDING... READ MORE
On December 10, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a long-awaited final rule (Final DSW Rule) revising the regulatory definition of “solid waste” (DSW) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as it relates to recycling activities.  Among other things, the Final DSW Rule revises the definition of “legitimate recycling” and makes changes to two conditional exclusions for recycling that were created by a 2008 revision to the definition of “solid waste.”  These changes are intended to address EPA’s concerns about “sham recycling”—the situation  where secondary or spent material that should be considered solid waste and, therefore, regulated as hazardous wastes under RCRA Subtitle C ends up being... READ MORE
Last night House and Senate negotiators finalized a $1.1 trillion “CROmnibus” (H.R. 83) appropriations bill that provides funding through September 30, 2015, for 11 of the 12 annual appropriations bills.  The 12th bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security, is funded through a continuing resolution (CR) that expires February 27, 2015.  The package is a result of extensive negotiations and has garnered bipartisan and bicameral support from leadership and the committees of jurisdiction.  However, since the current CR expires Thursday, December 11th, and the “CROmnibus” still needs to pass both the House and the Senate, a several day CR is expected to be advanced to provide more time to move the CROmnibus.  With the new short term CR in... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's Jay Derr will be speaking in a panel entitled, "Transportation of Oil By Rail:  The Challenge of Developing Public Policy to Address Random Events with Potentially Catastrophic Consequences."  Mr. Derr will be providing a "developer perspective on the potential impact of revised federal, state, and local oil train regulations on proposed export projects for the Pacific Northwest."   READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman LLP and 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 congratulates our former colleague, Boyd Rutherford, who was elected to serve as Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor in Governor-Elect Larry Hogan’s administration.  Mr. Rutherford was an associate with the firm in the mid-1990’s.  We are also pleased to congratulate Marc Korman and Bill Frick on their election to the Maryland House of Delegates for District 16.  Mr. Korman is the son of Van Ness Feldman partner, Paul Korman, and Mr. Frick is the son of former Van Ness Feldman partner, G. William Frick. Chairman of the firm, Richard Agnew, said of the election victories, “We celebrate the success of Boyd, Marc, and Bill and know they will serve the people of Maryland with integrity and honor.” READ MORE
On Nov. 6th, the Illinois Pollution Control Board granted FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. a favorable motion for summary judgment against claims brought by The Sierra Club.   The decisions affirms that FutureGen has valid permits to proceed with the development of a near-zero emissions, coal-fired power plant project in Illinois.  Van Ness Feldman attorneys Dale Johnson and Chris Zentz represented FutureGen Industrial Alliance in this matter. READ MORE
The firm’s Energy, Environment, Government Relations, Land-Use & Zoning, Litigation (environmental), Native American, Natural Resources, Real Estate,  and Water Law practices honored as among the best in the nation, with Energy, Environmental, Litigation – Environmental, and Natural Resources practices ranked as the top practices in the country.  “It is an honor to be recognized by the clients we serve and by our peers in the legal industry,” said Rick Agnew, Firm Chairman. With over 100 professionals in Washington D.C. and Seattle, Van Ness Feldman is grateful for the dedication and creativity of the firm's personnel in building the firm into what it is today: one of the premier energy and natural resources, public policy, and land use firms in... READ MORE