On January 30, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order on “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.”  Through this Executive Order, the President is seeking to require departments and agencies to minimize the costs imposed on private parties for compliance with federal regulations.  Central to this effort is the adoption of a “2 for 1” rule requiring identification of two existing rules to be revoked for each new regulation proposed or issued, as well as establishment of agency-specific “incremental cost allowances” that are aimed at limiting the potential incremental costs that an agency can impose upon the private sector through the issuance of new regulations. This Executive Order is generally addressed to federal... READ MORE
On January 24, 2017, President Trump signed four presidential memoranda and one executive order establishing new Federal policies for energy infrastructure and domestic manufacturing.  Two memoranda outline expedited review procedures for the Dakota Access Pipeline Project (DAPL) and the Keystone XL Pipeline (Keystone); a third memorandum directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish a new requirement that all U.S. pipelines utilize pipe produced in the United States; and the fourth memorandum directs the establishment of a multi-agency effort to streamline permitting for domestic manufacturing facilities.  The single executive order issued by the President establishes a new infrastructure streamlining program for White House-identified “High... READ MORE
In Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Inc. v. EPA, No. 14-1823, decided on January 18, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinstated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Transfers Rule.  The Rule, adopted in 2008, codifies EPA’s longstanding policy that water transfers between navigable waters that do not subject the water to an intervening industrial, municipal, or commercial use do not constitute an “addition of pollutants” to navigable waters and are not subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits under section 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The Second Circuit reversed a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York decision vacating the Water... READ MORE
“Development of Washington’s shorelines triggers overlapping and sometimes inconsistent local, state and federal regulations, as well as tribal treaty rights. Proponents of small private projects as well as large public facility projects in shoreline environments can be affected equally by these layers of regulation. Meanwhile, regulators and treaty tribes are tasked with balancing the many legitimate uses of the state’s shorelines and their abundant natural resources." Van Ness Feldman's Tadas Kisielius is speaking on, "Recent Developments in Port Management." Click here for more information. READ MORE
Emily Pitlick Mallen, a partner in the firm's Pipeline & LNG practice, will be a featured speaker at the ABA's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources 46th Spring Conference.   Emily's presentation, entitled, "An Evolving Environmental Battleground: FERC Pipeline Certificate Proceedings and New Disputes over 'Public Convenience and Necessity'” will focus on the changing regulatory landscape affecting pipeline certificate proceedings and the role that FERC plays.     From the ABA website:  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) plays a significant, but previously little publicized, role in the environmental review and permitting of energy projects.  With the rapid expansion of natural gas development in the U.S., FERC’s role in siting... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's T.C. Richmond is part of a panel that will discuss the merits of various legal approaches to addressing the climate-related challenges that water infrastructure faces nationwide.   Click here for more conference information and to register. READ MORE
Maranda Compton,a member of the firm's Native Affairs practice group was quoted in the Washington Post today in an article entitled, How the Army Corps of Engineers wound up in the middle of the fight over the Dakota Access pipeline. READ MORE
Shannon Angielski, a Principal in the firm’s Government Relations practice and the Executive Director of CURC, announced today that CURC has expanded the scope of their mission and has adopted the new name  as the Carbon Utilization Research Council.  READ MORE
As we look forward to the possibilities a New Year brings, we pause to give thanks to our clients, former colleagues, and friends who have formed our professional family over the past 40 years.   READ MORE
Elaine Chao Confirmed as Secretary of Transportation On January 31, the Senate confirmed Ms. Elaine Chao as the Secretary of Transportation.  Secretary Chao previously served as Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush and Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush.  Ms. Chao also is the wife of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.  Mike Mulvaney Confirmed as OMB Director On February 16, the Senate confirmed Mike Mulvaney as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is responsible for reviewing rules proposed by executive agencies, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), before publication. PHMSA... READ MORE
FERC FERC Issues Order on CAISO BAL-003-1.1 Compliance  – February 2 – FERC issued an order on compliance, clarification, and rehearing in a proceeding in which CAISO filed tariff revisions to comply with Reliability Standard BAL-003-1.1 – Frequency Response and Frequency Bias Setting (BAL-003-1.1) which established CAISO’s authority to procure transferred frequency response from other Balancing Authorities (BA).  In the order, FERC granted requests for clarification that contracts for transferred frequency response may be supported by a BA’s frequency response measure, consistent with the performance standard required for BAL-003-1.1 compliance and accepted a CAISO compliance filing.  FERC also denied requests for rehearing that CAISO’s... READ MORE
President Appoints Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur as Acting FERC Chairman; Former Chairman Norman Bay Resigns; Limitations on FERC’s Ability to Act Without a Quorum On January 25, 2017, President Trump appointed Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur as Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission), replacing former Chairman Norman Bay.  Acting Chairman LaFleur, a former utility executive, has been a member of the Commission since 2010.  She previously served as Acting Chairman from November 2013 to July 2014 and as Chairman from July 2014 until April 2015, when she was succeeded by Norman Bay. On January 26, 2017, Chairman Bay submitted to President Trump his resignation from the Commission, effective February 3, 2017.  Bay... READ MORE