Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Two lawsuits allege that state and federal officials violated youth plaintiffs’ constitutional rights by failing to sufficiently fight climate change.
  • EPA issues directive on advisory committees.
  • EPA issues final attainment area designations for ozone NAAQS for most areas of the United States.
  • EPA issues NODAs regarding 2016 NSPS for oil and gas industry.
  • Senate confirms nominee for EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation.
  • Ninth Circuit limits reach of RCRA’s antiduplication provision.

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Sidley to Add Prominent Energy Capital Markets, M&A Team in Houston, Washington, D.C.

Houston – Sidley Austin LLP announced that it will add a highly sought-after team of five partners to its Capital Markets and M&A practices, four of whom – David Buck, Jon Daly, Angela Richards and George Vlahakos – will be based in its Houston office, with the remaining partner – Bill Cooper – splitting his time between Houston and Washington, D.C. Mr. Buck, Mr. Daly, Mr. Vlahakos and Mr. Cooper will join Sidley November 1, while Ms. Richards will follow in early December. Their arrival will solidify Sidley’s position as a destination firm for energy transactions.

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Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • U.S. House of Representatives passes bill to end EPA’s “sue and settle” practice.
  • EPA announces that public wastewater treatment plants air standards will remain unchanged.
  • Interior Department issues report evaluating federal energy regulations.
  • DOI announces sale of largest federal oil and gas lease in U.S. history.
  • Sixth Circuit reinstates residents’ nuisance claim against Detroit refinery.

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Energy Enforcement Update

This week’s enforcement update covers:

  • Barclays and FERC Enforcement reach agreement in principle to settle manipulation lawsuit for a total of $105 million;
  • HSBC executive convicted of foreign currency exchange fraud;
  • FERC Chairman Chatterjee calls for FERC to reexamine proper scope of de novo review;
  • Senator Blumenthal calls on FERC to investigate price manipulation allegations;
  • CFTC finds that Arab Global Commodities DMCC engaged in spoofing of copper futures contracts; and
  • FERC files response to Silkman and CES objection to magistrate’s discovery rulings in district court.

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Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • EPA announces plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan.
  • D.C. District Court permits oil to continue flowing through Dakota Access.
  • Supreme Court wades into Clean Water Act venue fight.
  • EPA issues memo and directive to end “Sue and Settle.”
  • Split Ohio Supreme Court denies writs of mandamus for fracking ballot amendment.

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Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Maryland sues EPA to compel response to Clean Air Act 126 Petition.
  • C. Circuit denies request to invalidate EPA decision to stay landfill emissions rule.
  • EPA grants additional extensions for formaldehyde rule.
  • FERC issues supplemental EIS for Southeast Market Pipelines Project.
  • District Court affords deference to state interpretation of Clean Air Act.
  • EPA launches “Smart Sectors” program.
  • Safety commission orders rulemaking on flame retardants.
  • Court orders EPA to issue plans for fine particulate matter.

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FERC Issues Declaratory Order Easing Regulatory Approval Requirements for Tax Equity Investors in Renewable Projects

On October 4, FERC issued an order granting a petition for declaratory order by a group of tax equity investors in renewable energy projects, which requested FERC confirmation that the tax equity interests identified in FERC’s order in AES Creative Resources do not constitute voting securities for purposes of section 203 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”). 

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