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Energy and Climate Change

  • EPA Proposes Stringent Regulation of PFAS in Drinking Water

    On March 14, 2023, the EPA proposed a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act to establish Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

  • Department of Energy Announces $6 Billion Funding Opportunity for Industrial Decarbonization and Emissions Reduction Projects

    On March 8, 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced approximately $6 billion in funding to accelerate decarbonization projects in energy intensive industries and provide American manufacturers a competitive advantage. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Industrial Demonstrations Program will focus on revolutionizing energy intensive industrial processes with the highest emissions, where decarbonization technologies will have the greatest impact. Industries that represent the greatest opportunities include iron, steel, steel mill products, aluminum, cement, concrete, glass, pulp, paper, industrial ceramics and chemical products.

  • Seeking Certainty: Redefining “Waters of the United States”

    Making good on a promise to redefine the Clean Water Act (CWA) term, “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS, on January 18, 2023, the latest revised definition of “Waters of the United States” was published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 86 FR 3004. The effective date of this rule will be March 20, 2023. Remarkably, this action marks the fourth time in eight years that these agencies have attempted to craft a workable definition of WOTUS and thereby affect far-ranging impacts on everything from infrastructure and agriculture to private land use. While the agencies indicate that the newly redefined WOTUS is, in many ways, a return to the longstanding regulatory regime, there are several notable changes.

  • Department of Energy Opens Second Award Cycle for Civil Nuclear Credit Program

    On March 2, 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the opening of the second round awards cycle of the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program and released application guidance. The application guidance describes the timelines, deliverables and supporting information needed to apply for CNC certification and to submit sealed bids to receive allocated credits.

  • CHIPS Act Funds Start to Flow: First Funding Opportunity Announced for Commercial Front-end and Back-end Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities

    On February 28, 2023, the first funding opportunity opened under the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act (CHIPS Act), federal legislation that appropriated $52.7B in federal funding to boost the semiconductor industry, including $39B in semiconductor manufacturing incentives.

  • EPA Launches Initiative to Replace Lead Pipes in Underserved Communities

    In 2021, the White House introduced the Biden-Harris Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, which promises to replace all lead service lines in America over the next decade. The White House dubbed the plan “game-changing” and anticipates that it will put “pipefitters to work replacing all of America’s lead pipes and service lines.”

  • Amid the Rise of Greenwashing Litigation, Guidance Due for Updates May Become Law

    How terms like “net zero,” “carbon neutral” and “sustainable” are defined and how such standards are measured are critically important to companies seeking to accurately brand their services and products. Lawsuits related to greenwashing are on the rise, with consumer groups and environmental non-governmental organizations (eNGOs) utilizing consumer protection laws to challenge statements made in green marketing campaigns and how companies account for their claims of environmental-friendliness.

  • Alternating Current Yields Alternating Decisions on Bankruptcy Priority Treatment

    Scientists have been puzzling over the nature of electricity since as early as 565 B.C., when the Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus experimented by rubbing amber on fur to attract feathers. Thales, however, did not have to ponder the legal nature of the static electricity he observed.

  • North Carolina, California, Wisconsin and Illinois Sue Companies over PFAS “Forever Chemicals” Contamination
    02.21/Alert | nc-ca-wi-il-sue-companies-pfas

    In the last eight months, the attorneys general of North Carolina, California, Wisconsin and Illinois have sued various primary manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as well as over a dozen secondary manufacturers of PFAS-containing products. Each lawsuit alleges that the manufacture and distribution of PFAS and PFAS-containing products has led to widespread environmental contamination and harmful exposure.

  • EPA Tentatively Rejects the Center for Biological Diversity’s Petition to Regulate PVC as a Hazardous Waste

    Introduction and Background
    Few materials generate as much controversy as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Versatile, durable and available at a comparatively low cost, PVC offers a wide range of advantages across numerous industries, cementing its place as one of the market’s most popular materials. For example, PVC’s rigidity and strength makes it a popular construction material, and its high chlorine content makes PVC fire-resistant. PVC is also present in food packaging, children’s toys, and other industrial, retail and commercial materials.


  • Effective January 1, 2023, Numerous States Begin to Impose Notification Requirements and Prohibitions on Products Containing “Intentionally Added” PFAS

    In all, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington have placed or soon will be placing prohibitions on the distribution of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging containers, cookware and, in other cases, a wide range of products under the authority of consumer protection laws. Companies across the supply chain will be impacted by these regulations. Industry has criticized the state laws as overreaching, particularly considering the inability of certain state agencies to enforce these laws effectively.

  • Efforts to Regulate Plastic Pollution Likely to Increase in 2023

    Public concern regarding plastic pollution in the United States has continued to grow in recent years. While more traditionally centered on unmanaged plastic waste and U.S. recycling capacity, this has evolved to include issues such as microplastics, plastic-related chemicals, ESG and the environmental justice impacts of the plastics industry. In line with this growing concern, regulatory efforts aimed at addressing plastics have accelerated, and there was significant movement toward greater plastics regulation in 2022 at the state, federal and international levels.

  • Department of Energy Establishes the High-Assay, Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) Consortium

    On December 7, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established the High-Assay, Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) Consortium. HALEU (uranium enriched to between 5% and 20%) will be required by a large number of advanced reactor designs under development in the United States. However, domestic availability of HALEU is currently lacking and presents an obstacle to large-scale deployment of advanced nuclear.

  • Proposed Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Would Impose Significant Compliance Obligations on Federal Contractors

    The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council recently issued a far-reaching proposed rule that includes significant compliance obligations for contractors related to their greenhouse gas emissions.

  • IRS Provides Highly Anticipated Wage and Apprentice Guidance for Applicable Tax Credits under the Inflation Reduction Act

    On November 30, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Notice 2022-61 (Notice) in the Federal Register providing further guidance on compliance with newly applicable wage and apprenticeship requirements under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which taxpayers must comply with to receive the fully available tax credits for new renewable energy, energy storage, hydrogen, biogas, carbon capture projects and electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects.

  • The Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA): An Anniversary Report

    November 15, 2022, marked the one-year anniversary of President Biden signing the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. The historic $1.2 trillion dollar investment into infrastructure marked a major bipartisan accomplishment for the 117th Congress and may ultimately represent one of the most impactful accomplishments of the Biden administration. The IIJA, which is also sometimes referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), made investments into roads, bridges, electric vehicles, broadband, hydrogen hubs, cybersecurity, water infrastructure and grid resilience, among other areas of infrastructure.

  • The Senate Ratifies the Kigali Amendment, Strengthening U.S. Commitment to Phase Down Hydrofluorocarbons

    On September 21, 2022, the U.S. Senate voted to ratify the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. In so doing, the United States formally joins 137 other nations in pledging to reduce the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are greenhouse gases commonly used in a variety of applications including refrigeration, air-conditioning, building insulation, fire extinguishing systems, refrigerated shipping and aerosols. Because individual HFCs often have significantly greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, HFCs are widely considered one of the most potent drivers of climate change.

  • DOE Announces $50 Million Award for the Design of a Fusion Pilot Plant

    The September 2022 launch of this public-private partnership is the first step toward realizing the Biden Administration’s bold decadal vision for commercial fusion energy.

  • NRC Preliminary White Paper on Nuclear Fusion Indicates Paths for Regulatory Options

    A September 2022 Preliminary White Paper issued by U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Staff, “Licensing and Regulating Fusion Energy Systems,” indicates that the NRC is considering the option of regulating commercial fusion technologies via a risk-informed framework using 10 CFR Part 30.

  • The CHIPS and Science Act Offers Support to Advanced Nuclear and Fusion Industries

    The Act includes significant funding to ensure long-term U.S. competitiveness in the advanced nuclear sector.

  • General Services Adminisration Information Request Foreshadows Potentially Significant Rulemaking on Single-Use Plastic Packaging

    Given the federal government’s buying power and wide use of plastic packaging, the GSA’s proposed rulemaking could have consequences for the plastics, packaging and shipping industries.

  • Inflation Reduction Act Revives Hope for Biden's Climate Agenda

    The far-reaching proposal would represent the largest legislative climate investment in U.S. history.

  • Historic $280 Billion Investment in Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing and STEM Research and Development to Be Signed into Law

    The legislation is the result of months of negotiations between Congressional Democrats and Republicans to support domestic semiconductor manufacturing and related research and workforce development efforts.

  • DOE Establishes $6 Billion Civil Nuclear Credit Program

    On February 11, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of a Notice of Intent (NOI) and Request for Information (RFI) describing and seeking feedback on its plan to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s (BIL) $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program. The CNC will support the continued operation of U.S. nuclear reactors, the nation’s largest source of clean power, by providing financial support to certified reactors at risk of economic shutdown.

  • California Senate Passes the Climate Corporate Accountability Act

    Continuing its leadership in the battle against climate change, California takes a big step forward by requiring transparency concerning the carbon footprints of the nation’s largest corporations doing business in the state.

  • New York State Fashion Act Proves That ESG Is Haute Couture

    The Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act in the Context of ESG

    On January 7, 2022, New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Anna R. Kelles introduced the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act, A8352/S7428 (“Fashion Act”). The Fashion Act’s purpose is to promote sustainability and accountability regarding the environmental and social impacts of large fashion companies. The Fashion Act defines the latter as fashion retail sellers and fashion manufacturers of “wearing apparel or footwear” with annual worldwide gross revenues of $100 million or more doing business in New York. Given New York’s status as a worldwide hub for the fashion industry, the geographical nexus requirement of the Fashion Act hardly limits its applicability, which stands to cover many household brands and retailers.

  • Sixth and Eighth Circuits Confirm the Broad Applicability of the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act

    In two recent cases, federal Courts of Appeal issued decisions affirming a broad interpretation of the Price-Anderson Act, and in particular a broad interpretation of the Act’s primacy over state law and jurisdiction. First, in October 2021, the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in Matthews v. Centrus Energy Corporation. It held that the Price-Anderson Act provides the exclusive avenue for asserting liability arising from a nuclear incident, thereby preempting state and tort law claims. Notably, Matthews held that the Price-Anderson Act preempts state law and allows a defendant to remove a claim to federal court even where the claimant does not expressly allege that a nuclear incident occurred, and found that ongoing, slow releases of radioactive materials still constitute “nuclear incidents” under the Act. 

  • DOE Hydrogen Updates after Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Passage

    Results of Department of Energy’s June 2021 Request for Information on potential hydrogen demonstration project locations will influence agency as it develops a National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap as required by the recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure law.

  • Biden EPA Doubles Down on Chemical Regulation with PFAS Strategic Roadmap


    Federal efforts to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have continued in recent months. Most notably, on October 21, 2021, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) released its PFAS Strategic Roadmap. This document promises to establish a comprehensive, whole-of-agency approach to regulating PFAS, by building off the Trump EPA’s 2019 PFAS Action Plan and related federal initiatives. The Roadmap reflects EPA’s intent to regulate a broader range of activities than those contemplated in the 2019 Action Plan, as well as to accelerate the implementation of activities identified in the earlier Agency document.

  • Senate Confirms Rohit Chopra as CFPB Director

    As CFPB Director, Rohit Chopra will vigorously apply the CFPB’s authority to promulgate rules, conduct examinations, and bring enforcement actions.

  • Hydrogen Highlights in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

    On August 10, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) by a bipartisan vote of 69–30. In addition to funding for roads and bridges, the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package includes a number of provisions to spur investment in clean energy innovation technologies—in particular, it provides resources to accelerate research, development, demonstration, and deployment of clean hydrogen in the United States. This includes development of a definition for “clean hydrogen,” clean hydrogen supply chains, regional clean hydrogen hubs, and a focus on commercializing the use of clean hydrogen in transportation, utility, industrial, commercial and residential sectors. This is in line with goals stated during President Biden’s campaign to create “green hydrogen at the same cost as conventional hydrogen within a decade.”

  • Presidential Executive Order 14008: The Climate Crisis Order

    Presidential Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis,” a long and unusually detailed Executive Order published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2021 (see 86 FR 7619), has generated considerable discussion and commentary.

  • Southern California’s New Indirect Source Rule for Warehousing Operations Tests Jurisdictional Waters

    Rule 2305, a first-of-its-kind air district rule, will impose new costs on warehouses and the Southern California supply chain, potentially testing legal boundaries of local authority to regulate “indirect sources” of emissions.

  • NRC Seeking Input to Update NEPA Process for Categorical Exclusions

    In an important step furthering recent commitments to modernize its environmental review process, the NRC has requested input on its plan to update and expand the field of categorical exclusions in its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

  • Environmental Justice Legislation Update

    Environmental Justice, as an urgent priority of the Federal Government, dates back to 1994, and President Clinton’s issuance of Executive Order 12898. This order directed federal agencies to identify and address, as appropriate, the disproportionately high and adverse human health and environment effects of its many programs, policies and procedures on minority populations and low-income populations. The primary legal basis for this order was Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in particular, Sections 601 and 602, which prohibit discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal financial aid and assistance. Over the years, the Supreme Court has reviewed the scope and importance of Title VI. In Alexander v. Sandoval, decided in 2001, the Court concluded that while private parties could sue to enforce Section 601 or its implementing regulations, as written, Section 601 only prohibits intentional discrimination. Noting that disproportionate impact is not the sole touchstone of invidious racial discrimination. Moreover, the Court also ruled in Sandoval that private parties cannot sue to enforce regulations implementing Section 602. Perhaps as an acknowledgement of these shortcomings, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established an administrative system to process environmental justice complaints at 40 CFR Part 7. Without strengthening the statutory base of environmental justice, the program may continue to be the subject of countless symposiums and seminars. However, this may change soon.

  • Preparing Your Personal and Business Insurance Claims

    The world is witnessing yet another dramatic weather event, this time in the southern states, especially Texas. The severe winter conditions in Texas have caused unprecedented hardship for Texans and devasting damage for nearly every industry sector. The extended and episodic power outages, cell phone and internet service disruption, water crisis, frozen roads, disruption of transportation and supply chains, shuttered industrial facilities and damage to public and private infrastructure will have a lasting impact on the region. While the current focus rightfully is on restoring critical systems and services to ensure the safety and well-being of Texans, as the crisis subsides there will be wide ranging legal and commercial considerations that require immediate and informed decision making.

  • COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses: Time is of the Essence to Pursue Coverage

    The United States declared a national emergency in response to COVID-19 on March 13, 2020, and states quickly followed with stay-at-home orders that impacted businesses and institutions nationwide. More than 10 months have passed since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in the United States and the prevalence of the virus has had significant impacts, not only with respect to the number of people infected and lives lost, but also to the widespread physical damages and economic losses suffered by businesses.

  • Federal Support for Defense Uses of Advanced Nuclear

    Summary of the EO

    On January 12, 2021, former President Trump issued an EO on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. The EO directs the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), and NASA to take actions to coordinate their nuclear-related activities, move forward with certain ongoing nuclear projects and promote advanced reactor and small modular reactor (SMR) technologies. The purpose of the EO is to take steps to revitalize the U.S. nuclear sector, reinvigorate the U.S. space exploration program, develop diverse energy options for national defense needs and advance U.S. technological supremacy and leadership.

  • Congressional and Government Investigations in 2021: What to Expect from the Biden-Harris Administration and How to Prepare

    Government investigations pose many risk management challenges. They are unpredictable, political and often public. If handled incorrectly, they can last for many years, spiral into multiple Congressional, criminal, and/or regulatory investigations at the state and federal levels, and generate serious reputational harm. Potential targets can take proactive steps to mitigate their risks.

  • New Guidance from IRS Extends Safe Harbor for Offshore Wind and Federal Land Projects

    On December 31, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2021-05 (Notice), which provides relief for renewable energy projects constructed offshore or on federal land with respect to the “beginning of construction” requirements for projects eligible for the production tax credit available pursuant to IRC Section 45 (PTC) or the investment tax credit available pursuant to IRC Section 48 (ITC). This relief should provide additional certainty for offshore wind projects and projects on federal land, given the significant construction delays often associated with such projects.

  • Biden Clean Energy Plan—An Ambitious Climate Agenda Arrives

    The Biden Plan to Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and an Equitable Clean Energy Future,” is one of the Biden-Harris Transition Team’s top four policy priorities along with COVID-19, economic recovery and racial equity. It also represents the most ambitious clean energy vision by any U.S. president in history.

  • Generational Reform of the National Environmental Policy Act Has Weighty Implications for the Nuclear Industry

    On July 15, 2020, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) promulgated a final rule amending the implementing regulations (40 CFR § 1500, et seq.) of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4321, et seq. (NEPA). The final rule largely tracks proposed amendments, which the CEQ issued on January 10, 2020. The amendments aim to align NEPA’s implementing regulations with underutilized principles embedded in statutory provisions, agency guidance, and court decisions to streamline the environmental review process. These regulatory changes represent the culmination of Trump administration efforts to modernize NEPA dating back to August 2017, when the White House issued Executive Order 13087 to mitigate the delays that environmental reviews present to infrastructure development, including the licensing and development of nuclear facilities. The final rule will become effective on September 14, 2020.

  • NRC Takes Important Step Toward Following White Paper Recommendations for Streamlining NEPA Reviews for Advanced Nuclear Reactors

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies proposing to undertake, approve or fund “major Federal actions” to evaluate the action’s environmental impacts, including both direct and reasonably foreseeable indirect effects. NEPA also requires agencies to consider alternatives to the proposed action and to discuss cumulative impacts resulting from the incremental effects of the project when added to those of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects.

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Will Soon be Impacting Compliance with and Enforcement of Environmental Laws

    Remote work and other impacts to company workforces from the novel coronavirus pandemic are likely to result in practical limitations on usual environmental, health and safety compliance programs and activities across a wide variety of industries. We are already seeing see some regulatory agencies issuing new guidance and orders with implications for compliance and enforcement, and it is worth noting that regulatory agencies will also likely be impacted by their own workforce capacity issues in this environment.

  • IRS Issues Anticipated Guidance on Section 45Q Carbon Capture Credits

    On February 19, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service issued long anticipated guidance to help businesses understand how legislation passed in 2018 impacts those claiming carbon capture credits pursuant to Section 45Q. The guidance addresses the definition of “beginning of construction” and provides a safe harbor for partnership allocations of the credit. This guidance takes a first step toward accelerating slow-moving projects, with more detailed rules to come.

  • Highlights of the CLEAN Future Act Proposal from the House Energy and Commerce Committee

    The Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has released a “discussion draft” of the committee’s climate bill. The legislation is over 600 pages long, but the Committee has also released a summary of this legislation, which is entitled the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act or the CLEAN Future Act. Here are some highlights.

  • Deployment of SMRs: Key Market Trends for Consideration

    Any strategy for the successful deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) must thoroughly consider the current trends affecting the burgeoning market for SMRs. In 2019, the three major trends shaping this market were the large number of SMR designs, interest in SMRs in both mature and emerging markets, and factors impacting SMR financing.

  • Spending Deal Provides Long-Term Extension for Biodiesel Tax Credit

    On Dec. 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law a new spending deal that includes an historic five-year extension of the biodiesel blenders tax credit. The deal reinstates the blenders tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel retroactively from its expiration on Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2022. The legislation also includes a “special rule” that directs the Treasury Department to develop a one-time claims process to speed payment of the credit for years 2018 and 2019, when it lapsed.

  • Environmental and Regulatory Highlights of the Fall 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory Actions

    In late December, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the “Fall 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory Actions” just a few days before the Calendar turned to the year 2020. (It should be noted that the Spring Agenda was not released until June 24, 2019.) Individual agency agendas were published in the Federal Register by several agencies and executive departments on December 26, 2019. The entire agenda, which is a survey of all current and projected rule-making actions that federal agencies and departments are planning over the next 12 months, is available at such government websites as The Agenda provides valuable insights into the actions these agencies believe to be most important. This survey will largely concentrate on environmental regulatory developments, although other matters are worth noting.

  • Name-and-Shame Proposal of Electric Regulators Highlights Need for Cyber Insurance

    On August 27, 2019, FERC and NERC staffs issued a Joint Staff White Paper on Notices of Penalty Pertaining to Violations of Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards. In that White Paper, FERC/NERC staffs propose departing from FERC’s historical practice of withholding most material details regarding CIP Reliability Standard violations. FERC has recently signaled an appetite to depart from that practice by disclosing the names of a handful of allegedly violating electric utilities in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

  • DOE Proposes Procedures for the Imposition of Civil Penalties for Violations of Part 810

    On October 3, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing procedures for imposing civil penalties for violations of DOE’s 10 CFR Part 810 regulations (Part 810). Part 810 implements section 57b.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) (42 U.S.C. 2077) and controls the export of unclassified nonpublic nuclear technology.

  • The Brexit Blindspot: Nuclear Retransfers

    The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. While the United States and UK governments have taken significant steps to ensure that contracts related to nuclear power stations and the nuclear fuel cycle are not interrupted, little public attention has been paid to the potential delay in commerce caused by the UK no longer being a member of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). This is particularly important because the U.S. Government will now need to provide its consent for retransfers of certain nuclear materials and components from the EURATOM countries to the UK, after the UK withdraws from EURATOM. While the U.S.- EURATOM Agreement for Cooperation provides a mechanism for the United States to provide its advance consent for these retransfers to the UK, the process itself could likely take at least several months and perhaps a year or more, as explained below. This article provides what we believe will be the potential impediments to commerce. However, the precise manner in which U.S. retransfer consent rights affect nuclear commerce with the UK will vary depending upon the specific circumstances of each proposed retransfer.

  • Natural Resources Agency Finalizes Updates to the CEQA Guidelines

    At the end of November 2018, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) posted final adopted text for amendments to the regulations implementing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), known as the CEQA Guidelines. The final text is the result of over five years of development efforts by the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research (OPR) and CNRA. The amendments combine changes to transportation impact analysis as directed by Senate Bill 743 (2013) with the most comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines since 1998, incorporating statutory changes, court decisions, and comments from public agencies, business and environmental groups, and other stakeholders through multiple rounds of public review. The wide range of issues covered in the amendments includes use of regulatory standards as significance thresholds; environmental baselines; a new metric for analyzing transportation impacts; climate, water supply and energy impacts; and numerous procedural and technical improvements.

  • Pillsbury's Post-Election Outlook

    The 2018 Midterm Election played out as most poll forecasters speculated. Although several races have yet to be decided, Republicans have retained control of the Senate, but lost at least 29 seats, allowing the Democrats to wrest back control of the House for the first time since 2010.

  • 2018 Election Night Guide

    Pillsbury’s Political Law and Public Policy groups break down the need-to-know numbers for this year’s election. Pillsbury’s biennial Election Night Guide examines the potential outcomes for the 2018 Congressional and Governor’s races. Our Public Policy team is also preparing a post-election guide that will be useful in navigating potential changes in Congress.

  • Gas Regulation 2018: United States

    Need an update on the state of the natural gas sector in the United States? This recently published article has you covered.

  • New CERCLA Brownfields Amendments

    Spurred by the realization there may be as many as 450,000 Brownfields sites around the country that require some financial assistance, the recently enacted bi-partisan BUILD Act reauthorizes the EPA's Brownfields program at current funding levels through 2023.

  • Administration Issues “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America”

    The Trump Administration's legislative proposal to rebuild American infrastructure identifies a number of specific laws that will require amendments. Here is a brief review of some of the plans many provisions.

  • Congress Expands the Oil Pollution Act to Reach Spills Originating Outside of the U.S.

    The Foreign Spill Protection Act of 2017 establishes oil spill liability in the U.S. for foreign-based offshore exploration and production facilities.

  • The Fall 2017 Unified Federal Regulatory Agenda

    The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Management and Budget have posted the Fall 2017 Agency Statements of Regulatory Priorities. Here's a look at what's ahead.

  • The Trump Administration’s First Steps Toward Streamlining Environmental Reviews

    An August Executive Order aims to fast-track federal review of infrastructure projects, including a streamlined environmental review process of projects deemed “high-priority.” Recent actions taken by the Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of the Interior indicate what that might look like.

  • U.S. DOT Releases Draft Strategic Plan Beginning Implementation of Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Project Streamlining

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a draft Strategic Plan that establishes goals for increasing investment and streamlining environmental review and approval of transportation infrastructure projects over the next five years. The draft Plan is DOT’s first formal action in response to the Administration’s Executive Order on streamlining. Although it identifies needs and objectives it provides few specifics.

  • Council on Environmental Quality Takes First Step to Implement Trump Executive Order on Streamlining Federal Environmental Reviews

    The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which oversees federal agency compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, has announced a list of planned actions to implement President Trump’s Executive Order on streamlining federal environmental reviews. While the Order and CEQ notice have launched a process that could transform federal environmental reviews and approvals, they provide few specifics, and their impact remains to be seen.

  • DOE Opens the Door to Major Energy Market Reforms

    In August, the Department of Energy published a much-anticipated study analyzing the market hurdles facing conventional baseload generation, such as coal, nuclear and hydropower. The study sets the stage for a high-stakes debate before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

  • Time Will Tell If Trump Infrastructure Executive Order Shortens Federal Reviews

    On August 15, President Trump issued an Executive Order that seeks to streamline federal environmental review and approvals of major infrastructure projects by imposing new timelines and procedures. Key provisions create a two-year deadline for completing review and issuing authorizations.

  • Chemicals, Compliance and the Toxic Substances Control Act

    The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) required the compiling of a national register of chemicals that were manufactured in or imported into the United States for a non-exempt commercial purpose, and the first TSCA Inventory in 1979 included approximately 62,000 chemicals. Since then, the Inventory has been expanded to include approximately 90,000 chemicals—a rate of over 700 new chemicals per year.

  • Up in the Air

    Trump Administration officials followed up on the President’s June 1 announcement of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord by announcing that the Administration was reviewing U.S. participation in ICAO’s global aviation emissions offset and trading regime.

  • How Companies Can Take Advantage of President Trump’s Plan to Roll Back Federal Energy Regulation

    President Trump’s March 28 Executive Order requires every federal agency and Department to identify and potentially suspend, rescind, or relax federal regulations, policies, prior agency orders and guidelines that impede U.S. energy development or use. In this roundtable discussion, Sheila Harvey, Jeffrey Merrifield, Matthew Morrison and Andrew Weissman examine the implications of the Executive Order and how it could affect businesses in 2017 and beyond.

  • DC Lawyer: Trump Executive Order ‘Literally Applies to Everything’ the Federal Government Does with Energy Development

    Washington, DC Energy senior counsel Andrew Weissman told The Washington Post that legal professionals and industry experts, among others, are just beginning to grasp the scope of the March 28 order. According to Weissman, the order has far-reaching effects on “almost every environmental regulation that affects energy in any way,” in addition to non-environmental regulations.