Bracewell & Giuliani

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  1. The Final Waters of the US Rule: The Administration’s Concessions and Clarifications

    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 10:30 am by

    We’re halfway through our series of blogs discussing the Administration’s final rule redefining the scope of waters subject to jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Our two posts earlier this week addressed some of the questions remaining even after the Administration clarified a number of ambiguities in the proposed rule. Today we’ll point out a few of the more notable clarifications, as well as some concessions the Administration made in light of public comments.

    Most significantly, as discussed in our first post, the administration has provided greater clarity as to what waters are jurisdictional based on their adjacency to tributaries. As proposed, the rule would have provided very scientifically-based definitions of “floodplain” and “riparian area” and included waters in those areas as jurisdictional ones. The final rule abandons those two terms, essentially substituting a 100-foot measure for the term “riparian area,” and up to 1,500 feet of the FEMA 100-foot floodplain for the term “floodplain.” This change will make it easier for laypersons to know what waters are jurisdictional under the rule. (more…)

  2. EPA Issues “Ambitious” Multi-Year Renewable Fuel Standard

    Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:25 am by

    After much anticipation, on Friday, May 29, 2015, EPA finally released a multi-year renewable fuels standard (RFS) for 2014-2016. The volumes and percentages of renewable fuel that EPA proposed to comprise the transportation fuel pool for 2014-2016 are as follows: (more…)

  3. The Final Waters of the US Rule: Remaining Ambiguity

    8:21 am by

    Our first two posts on the final Waters of the US rule noted that, in the final rule, the Administration has provided an additional degree of clarity in distinguishing between jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional waters, both by definition and in practice. But, as we discussed last year, the proposal was extremely ambiguous and a fair amount of ambiguity remains. Yesterday, we identified some of this ambiguity and today we will briefly summarize a bit more. (more…)

  4. The Final Waters of the US Rule: The Significant Nexus Test Is Here for Good

    Monday, June 1, 2015 9:02 am by

    Last week, we started with the bottom line of the Administration’s new Waters of the US Rule – describing the waters that are now always jurisdictional by definition and those probably always jurisdictional in practice. Today, we start to leave clarity behind and examine the waters that may be jurisdictional. Or may not be. For you “waters of the US” cognoscenti, you know what that means – we’re discussing how the Administration has finalized the “significant nexus” test. (more…)

  5. The Final Waters of the U.S. Rule: Waters That Aren’t Always Jurisdictional by Definition, but Probably Are in Practice

    Friday, May 29, 2015 9:25 am by

    Yesterday, we started our series of blog posts about the final WOTUS rule by taking advantage of the rule’s increased clarity to identify the waters that would always be considered jurisdictional. The rule’s definitions leave no doubt that certain waters will always be considered jurisdictional by EPA and the Corps. But there’s another group of waters that aren’t always jurisdictional by definition, but will most likely be so in practice. (more…)

  6. The Administration Finalizes the WOTUS Rule. First Things First – the Immediate Obligations.

    Thursday, May 28, 2015 9:49 am by

    Yesterday, the Obama administration finalized the waters of the US rule it proposed last spring. There’s a lot to be said about the final rule, and so this will be the first in a series of blog posts (just like for the proposal). But because the new rule creates a few immediate obligations, we’ll start this series with the punchline.

    The rule remains broad, but is somewhat more clear (more…)

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