Clean Water Rule Protects Streams and Wetlands Critical to Public Health, Communities, and Economy

Does not create any new permitting requirements and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions

Washington – In an historic step for the protection of clean water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army finalized the Clean Water Rule today to clearly protect from pollution and degradation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources.

Fourth Circuit Restricts Scope of Clean Water Act Permit Shield

The Fourth Circuit issued a recent decision that has the potential to increase the burden on permit applicants hoping to avail themselves of the “permit shield” defense under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The case, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards v. A&G Coal Corp., stemmed from a citizen suit seeking to hold a mining company liable for selenium discharges that were not authorized under the defendant’s CWA permit. The court rejected the defendant’s appeal to the permit shield defense based on the defendant’s lack of knowledge regarding the potential for selenium discharges. The court held that the defendant had an affirmative obligation to assess whether such discharges were possible and disclose that information in a permit application to enjoy the protections of the permit shield.

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California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1]

CEQA is California’s pre-eminent environmental law. It originally was adopted by the California state Legislature and signed into law (by then Governor Ronald Reagan) in 1970, shortly after passage at the federal level of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA[2] (on which CEQA is largely modelled). In a nutshell, CEQA requires California state and local agencies to undertake a process to publicly evaluate the significant environmental impacts of new development projects and regulatory proposals. NEPA requires a similar process for federal projects and proposals; however, unlike NEPA, CEQA requires government agencies to affirmatively adopt and implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate significant adverse impacts.

Detractors complain that these environmental review and mitigation requirements create impediments to new development and drive up their costs, and there is anecdotal evidence that these complaints historically may have been valid.[3] Consequently, California’s business community has increasingly been pressing for changes that would lower or eliminate the development barriers that CEQA is perceived to have fostered. Some of those changes are procedural, addressing uncertainties created by the threat of litigation challenging project approvals on CEQA grounds. Others are more substantive, focusing on questions of how CEQA applies to different types of specific development activity in different situations.

- See more at: http://www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20140701-scope-california-environmental-review#sthash.TI0QAz1I.dpuf

Negative impacts of the "Waters of the United States" rule

Chairman Conaway delivers One-Minute on negative impacts of EPA's WOTUS rule

September 12, 2016 - Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) delivered remarks on the House floor to draw attention to the negative impacts of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ overburdensome regulations are having on farmers, ranchers, and rural America. Watch the video and view the official remarks below.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Sierra Nevada forest health in rapid decline: drought adding fuel to the fire

A new report released this week shows that many Sierra Nevada forests are in critical condition and that natural benefits that these forests provide, such as clean air and water, are at risk from large, intense fire. Sierra watersheds are the origin of over 60% of the state’s developed water supply, and store significant amounts of carbon.  Unfortunately, the current drought and a changing climate are rapidly intensifying the situation in the Sierra.

Winning the Fight on Stream Protection

For close to a decade, Republicans have been leading the charge against the regulatory onslaught on coal communities. But now, with an ally in the White House, we can finally begin to roll back some of the punishing regulations of the last eight years. This starts with repealing the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) Stream Protection Rule under the Congressional Review Act.
 
The final SPR, forced on the American people in the waning days of the Obama administration, is a blatant attack on working families in coal country that could shut more coal mines and send thousands of miners to the unemployment line. The final rule jeopardizes at least one-third of this nation’s good paying coal jobs and removes half or more of total U.S. coal reserves from future extraction. Let’s put that in perspective for a moment: The rule’s associated job loss comes on top of the loss of 68,000 good paying coal jobs over the past few years.

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