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Marten Law: CEQ Marks 40th Anniversary of NEPA With New Guidance on Greenhouse Gas Impacts, Mitigation and Categorical Exclusions

"Marking the 40th anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), has issued three draft guidance documents in a campaign to 'reinvigorate' the workings of the Act," report Svend Brandt-Erichsen and Dustin Till...

Marten Law on Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms: Supreme Court Reasserts Standard for Injunctive Relief in NEPA Cases

Steven Jones, Partner, Marten Law PLLC In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Steven Jones of Marten Law PLLC discusses Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms , in which the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated the four-part standard for injunctive relief it announced in 2008, confirming that this same standard...

Gulf Oil Spill Prompts NEPA Review of Minerals Management Service

By Mr. Ronald Bass The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has prompted the Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of Interior to review the Mineral Management Service's compliance with NEPA. MMS is the federal agency within DOI responsible for approving oil and gas exploration and...

Coast Guard stumbles as it tries to preempt Massachusetts state law

The Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act (OSPA) was enacted following an oil spill in Buzzards Bay. [As the appellate court notes, Buzzards Bay is a scenically beautiful body of water. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buzzards_Bay_map.png.] OSPA requires a tugboat escort for all tank vessels...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Environmental Impact Analysis and the Keystone XL Pipeline Project

On June 6, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its latest comments and rating on the State Department's Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the Keystone XL project, a major new oil pipeline being developed by Transcanada, a Canadian firm, that would, if...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New Report Published on Carbon Offshoring: The Legal and Regulatory Framework for U.S. Coal Exports

By Daniel Firger, Associate Director, Center for Climate Change, Columbia Law School Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel, releasing far higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and conventional air pollutants-including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury-per unit of energy than either oil...

Jenner & Block: EPA Issues New NEPA Mapping Tool

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block EPA has issued a new online mapping tool, NEPAssist, to assist federal agencies in evaluating possible NEPA environmental review obligations. NEPAssist is one of five pilot projects selected by the White House Council on Environmental Quality to advance...

Roadless Rule Emerges Victorious From Decade of Legal Challenges

By Mr. Michael Anderson Get the latest expert analysis on the federal "Roadless Area Conservation Rule," which bans road building and logging on millions of acres of national forest land in numerous states. This article includes an overview of the extensive roadless rule litigation and...

Export-Import Bank Sued by Environmental Groups for Coal Export Loan Guarantee

Numerous environmental groups, represented by attorneys from Earthjustice, have filed a lawsuit against the Export-Import Bank over the Bank’s approval of a $90 million loan guarantee in support of Xcoal’s mining, transport, and export of coal without preparing an environmental impact statement...

Environmental Impact Statements Addressing Resiliency and Adaptation

Ethan I. Strell, Associate Director & Fellow, Columbia Center for Climate Change Law In a subtle but meaningful shift, the environmental impact review process in New York City is beginning to more systematically consider the potential effects of a changing climate on proposed projects, not...

D.C. Circuit Ruling Has Potential Implications for Natural Gas Pipeline and LNG Projects Under FERC Environmental Review

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], rejected certain portions of an environmental analysis conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or "Commission"). This turn of events...

Council on Environmental Quality Declares That Climate Change is Already Covered in Environmental Impact Review, and No New Regulations Needed

By Michael B. Gerrard The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970, was the first U.S. environmental statute of the modern era. It requires the preparation of environmental impact statements (EISs) for major federal actions that may...

CEQ’s Revised Draft Guidance on Addressing Climate Change under NEPA: Federal Agencies Should Analyze Both GHG Emissions and Impacts of Climate Change on Proposed Action

On December 24, 2014, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released Revised Draft Guidance on how federal agencies should evaluate GHG emissions and the impacts of climate change when conducting reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).[1] The revised guidance is significantly...

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Issues Revised Guidance for Climate Change Analysis in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Reviews

By Mr. Al Herson Get the latest analysis on the Council on Environmental Quality's revised draft guidance on climate change analysis in NEPA reviews. The article reviews the major provisions of the draft guidance, including analyzing greenhouse gas impacts of proposed actions and the effects of...

Possible Shift of Perspectives on Breadth of NEPA Review; CEQ's Draft Greenhouse Gas Guidance

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),[1] and the corresponding NEPA regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)[2] and the respective reviewing agencies, federal agencies are required to consider the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions— i.e...

Pope Francis On Environmental Law

By Michael B. Gerrard The remarkable Encyclical Letter issued last month by Pope Francis could be read as a primer on the importance and idealized operation of many of our environmental laws. The headings below are mine; the text is from the Vatican. National Environmental Policy Act 183...

Sabin Center Files Comments on Alaska LNG Project

By Justin Gundlach, Climate Law Fellow The Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project is enormous. It is designed to link natural gas drilling operations on the North Slope of Alaska to liquefaction facilities in Nikiski (south of Anchorage) via an 800-mile pipeline. The Natural Gas Act assigns the...