Comment Period Open for Proposed WOTUS Rule

The comment floodgates are open for the proposed federal Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) rule. The rule would re-define the phrase “waters of the United States” which dictates the geographic reach of the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army made the pre-publication rule available starting on December 11, 2018, but the comment period has only now officially begun with a notice in the Federal Register published on February 14, 2019. Currently, due to litigation over the Obama Administration’s 2015 WOTUS rule, pre-2015 regulations and guidance...

A Victim Of Its Own Success? Jordan Re-evaluates

Jordan’s approach to the development of renewable energy generation infrastructure has long been regarded as a template for other governments in the region. Through leveraging its favourable geography and climate for wind and solar generation an aggregate capacity of almost 1 GW of renewable energy has been, or is currently under construction to be, added to the grid since the introduction of the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Law in 2012. Jordan’s position in the vanguard of renewable energy deployment was further cemented last year when its Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR)...

“Bring Out Your Dead!” - In CFTC v. Wilson, Court Reminds CFTC that Market Manipulation Requires an Artificial Price

On November 30, 2018, a federal court rejected the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) allegations of market manipulation in CFTC v. Wilson (“ DRW ”) and found in favor of the defendants, Donald R. Wilson (“Wilson”) and his company, DRW Investments, LLC (together “DRW”). According to Judge Richard Sullivan (appointed to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals during the pendency of the matter and writing the decision while sitting by designation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York), “the CFTC … failed to prove that Defendants intended to cause...

FERC Proceeding Questions the Treatment of Battery Storage Under PURPA

A pending petition before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) tees-up whether battery storage facilities co-located with renewable generation projects should be included in the output measurement for purposes of determining Qualifying Facility (“QF”) status under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”). Depending on FERC’s response, the addition of battery storage facilities to certain renewable projects could affect the QF status of the entire project. FERC is under no deadline to resolve this dispute, but FERC may choose to act in the coming months both to...
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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s Decision to Vacate Mountain Valley Pipeline Nationwide Permit

On November 27, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued the most recent in a series of decisions from various courts affecting the federal permitting and construction of interstate pipelines. Sierra Club v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers , No. 18-1173 (4th Cir. Nov. 27, 2018). In this instance, the Circuit held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the Clean Water Act when it verified that construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline project could proceed pursuant to Nationwide Permit 12 in the State of West Virginia. [1] This decision will have an impact on the...

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