Environmental Law Portal

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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Showing 17 posts in NEPA. View our practice description for NEPA.

NGOs Challenge Department of Interior’s New Interpretation of “Incidental Take” Liability Under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

National environmental groups recently filed a pair of new lawsuits in New York federal district court seeking to expand the scope of liability for “incidental take” under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”).[1]  The litigation seeks to overturn recent legal and policy guidance issued by the United States Department of the Interior (“DOI”) and Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) which provided greater regulatory certainty by limiting those agencies’ enforcement actions under the MBTA to claims of intentional harm to migratory birds.  If the new lawsuits prevail, many industries may once again face potential criminal liability for day-to-day operations posing a risk of unintentional effects on migratory birds.  The lawsuits are also a reminder that courts remain split on the scope of MBTA liability, that MBTA enforcement policy may shift between administrations, and that other statutes still make avian protection a key component of environmental planning and compliance at many facilities. Read More ›

New York Issues Revised Proposed Amendments to SEQRA and Requests Public Comment by May 4, 2018

Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) issued proposed revisions to regulations implementing the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”), at Title 6, Part 617 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (“NYCRR”) and to sections of the SEQRA Short and Full Environmental Assessment Forms. The proposed revisions follow the DEC’s original proposed amendments (“2017 proposal,” described below), released in January 2017, and respond to the hundreds of public comments that DEC received following the release of the 2017 proposal. Read More ›

Executive Order Charts New Path For Offshore Energy Development

On April 28, 2017, the Trump administration issued an Executive Order entitled “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.”  This EO calls for expanded oil and gas leasing in areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that were recently placed off-limits to energy development, and instructs several federal agencies to reevaluate and possibly reverse recent regulations imposed on the offshore oil and gas industry.  If fully implemented, the EO would clear the way for expanded and expedited development of OCS energy resources.   Read More ›

Interior Secretary Immediately Implements President’s Executive Order on Energy and Climate

New Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke wasted no time implementing the mandates of the Trump Administration’s most recent Executive Order (EO), “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which was issued on March 28.  For a summary of that EO, click here.  On March 29, the Secretary issued two Secretarial Orders (SO) implementing the March 28 Order, and took additional administrative action consistent with its mandates.  Separately, the Secretary has reinstated a public-private advisory committee to address royalty issues. Read More ›

Impacts of the 2016 U.S. Election on Environmental Law, Policy, and Enforcement

The 2016 election results will have wide-ranging impacts on the future direction of environmental law, policy, and enforcement in the U.S.  With 100 lawyers in offices around the U.S. focused on environmental and natural resource law and litigation, Beveridge & Diamond helps clients navigate legal and business risks arising from this evolving legal landscape. Read More ›

Is the Golden State about to Fumble Away a Golden Program?

Streamlining environmental reviews of highway projects and fixing state highway issues faster with reduced costs, have all proven successful under the NEPA Assignment Program (Program) that California entered in 2007. In fact, California has led the way with this Program by being the only state that participated in the pilot program.  The Program, 23 USC 327,  allows a state to apply for and assume the responsibilities of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for environmental review, consultation, or other action required under any Federal environmental law pertaining to the review or approval highway projects in the State. States can also apply for the assignment of transit and rail projects. Read More ›

Parker Moore Quoted in BloombergBNA on the Benefits of Science Training for Attorneys

Parker Moore, a Principal in Beveridge & Diamond's Washington, DC office and leader of the firm’s Endangered Species and Wildlife Protection,Wetlands, and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) practice groups, was quoted in a BloombergBNA Daily Environment Report article titled "Science Training Gives Some Attorneys Advantages."  The article discusses how training and degrees in the sciences have advantages in the practice of environmental law. Read More ›

USDA Declares “Do-Over” on Overhaul of Biotechnology Regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Animal and Plant Health Information Service (“APHIS”) is renewing efforts to amend or replace its existing rules governing plant-based biotechnology, while highlighting possible changes to its regulations that may significantly expand the scope of biotechnology products and processes subject to APHIS jurisdiction.  Akin to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, APHIS’s Notice of Intent seeks public input on scoping for a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (“PEIS”) under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).  APHIS’s non-exclusive proposals range from status quo to transformative, and its notice provides a rare opportunity for agriculture and biotechnology stakeholders to help shape what may become a wholly new regulatory program to replace APHIS’s three-decades-old regulations at 7 C.F.R. Part 340.  Comments are due by March 7, 2016. Read More ›

To Mitigate or Not to Mitigate: No Longer a Question for Environmental Reviews?

Even the casual college football observer has probably seen by now the wild final play of the Duke-Miami game on October 31. After the game ended, it was determined that Miami literally stole the win as a result of referee errors. The referees were suspended, apologies were issued, but the game result stuck. As a Duke alum, this “mitigation” outcome was of little solace. Read More ›

CEQA Guidelines Comments: Once In a Generation Chance

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) directs that certain proposed projects undergo environmental review to assess and mitigate significant environmental impacts. The CEQA Guidelines provide procedures and clarification on how to perform the reviews. The Guidelines are often cited in legal challenges to CEQA reviews. Read More ›