On November 20, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a proposed Policy Statement regarding Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities (Proposed Policy Statement).  The Proposed Policy Statement would permit interstate natural gas pipelines to establish a tracker or surcharge mechanism to recover facility upgrade costs related to anticipated pipeline safety, reliability, and environmental regulations, if certain standards are met.  The proposal represents a modification of FERC policy, which previously rejected pipeline safety and environmental cost trackers that were not agreed to as part of a unanimous settlement with the pipeline’s customers.  The Proposed Policy Statement explained that FERC’s... READ MORE
On November 14, 2014, the comment period closed on a proposed rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) (collectively, the Agencies) that would significantly redefine and expand the scope of jurisdictional “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  Nearly half a million comments were filed by the deadline—with many commenting parties asking for withdrawal or delay of any further consideration of changes to the definition of “waters of the United States.”  In particular, there have been many requests to withdraw or delay the proposed rule until the EPA’s Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence... READ MORE
In the national elections, Republicans picked up at least 7 seats to gain control of the United States Senate and expanded their majority in the United States House of Representatives by at least 14 seats.  As of this morning, the composition of the United States Senate in the 114th Congress will be 52 Republicans, 43 Democrats and 2 Independents, with 3 races yet to be decided.  Again, as of this morning, the United States House of Representatives will consist of 243 Republicans and 179 Democrats, with the final numbers dependent on 13 races that remain undecided. This first Van Ness Feldman post-election alert looks at the agenda of the 2014 lame duck session of Congress, which is scheduled to begin November 12th.  This alert includes a link to a... 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 conference on climate change regulation and litigation. This comprehensive one-day forum will gather leading legal practitioners and industry experts to discuss: Mapping climate effects on the coasts Federal, state, and local responses to climate change - and how to fund them How Environmental Impact Statements are incorporating climate change and carbon emissions Economic and legal impacts of climate change on businesses and investors Quantifiable impacts on the insurance industry New case law and pending litigation Click here for more information. 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