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Energy and Natural Resources Blog

Welcome to the Holland & Knight Energy and Natural Resources Blog, featuring news and analysis related to energy and natural resource litigation and regulation.

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As described in a prior blog post, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) held a public meeting on Jan. 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. ET at MassDEP's Boston office to consider the "Petition for Rulemaking to Establish a Treatment Technique Drinking Water Standard for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)" filed by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Toxics Action Center pursuant to MGL c. 30A, § 4 and 310 CMR 2.00.
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January 17, 2019
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The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will hold a public meeting on Jan. 16, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. ET at MassDEP's Boston office to consider the "Petition for Rulemaking to Establish a Treatment Technique Drinking Water Standard for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances" filed by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Toxics Action Center pursuant to MGL c. 30A, § 4 and 310 CMR 2.00.
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January 10, 2019
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On Jan. 3, 2019, the Solicitor General filed a Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae in response to an order issued Dec. 3, 2018 which "called for the views of the Solicitor General" (CVSG) in connection with two petitions for writ of certiorari pending before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
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January 9, 2019
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On Dec. 28, 2018, the Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE) filed a notice in the Federal Register indicating its response to the 19 public comments received on its study entitled Macroeconomic Outcomes of Market Determined Levels of U.S. LNG Exports , and that its conclusions were available on its public docket. DOE had previously sought comments by notice published June 12, 2018.
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January 2, 2019
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Dec. 11, 2018, issued a long-awaited proposed rule to define "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA).
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December 20, 2018
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On Nov. 14, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release seeking public comment on its draft toxicity assessment for GenX chemicals and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), members of a larger group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
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On Nov. 8, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Public Affairs issued a press release indicating that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed a memorandum (presumably before resigning) the day before that provides direction to all civil litigating components and United States Attorneys' Offices imposing new "Principles and Procedures for Civil Consent Decrees and Settlement Agreements with State and Local Governmental Entities."
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November 15, 2018
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In the constantly shifting post-election landscape, Holland & Knight's overview on what to expect on energy and environmental issues in the post-election lame-duck congressional session and the 116th Congress remains as valid today as it was when it was published. However, recent developments afford the ability to offer new insights on political and policy changes to look for in the lame-duck session, and what they could mean for the next two years.
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November 14, 2018
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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) continues to focus on cybersecurity risks in key areas like Smart Grid and Smart Cities. NIST kicks off a two day workshop from Nov. 13-14, 2018 focusing on key issues around Smart Grid and cybersecurity risks.
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November 14, 2018
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The 2018 midterm elections are in the books, and while some races are still too close to call, control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are no longer in doubt. The members of the 116th Congress spent a disproportionate amount of time and money campaigning on the issues of immigration, healthcare, taxes, trade and allegations of corruption.
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As described in a blog post on March 13, 2018, Section 13306 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97 (Dec. 22, 2017) revises the longstanding rule on the deductibility as a business expense (or lack thereof) of "any fine or similar penalty paid to a government for the violation of any law." Previously, it was well understood that such costs could not be deducted as business expenses under 26 U.S.C. § 162(f) and many EPA settlement documents specifically included such a prohibition, including characterizing certain payments as falling within the prohibition.
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October 31, 2018
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As described in previous blog posts on May 7, 2018 and March 13, 2018, regulatory changes are needed before liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be transported by rail tanker cars under applicable Hazardous Materials and Carriage by Rail regulations, 49 C.F.R Parts 172, 173 and 174, absent a special permit.
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October 30, 2018
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Please join Holland & Knight and the National Congress of American Indians for a presentation providing an overview and analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) recently announced Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP), which can guarantee up to $2 billion in loans for energy development projects by American Indian tribes.

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October 22, 2018
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With Hurricane Florence approaching last week, Congress took two key actions with regard to clean energy. While many would argue that the timing of these two actions is purely coincidental, it's very possible that the federal government's continued role in extreme weather preparedness and response continues to give Congress the nudges it needs to pass more expansive clean energy legislation.
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September 18, 2018
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On Sept. 13, 2018, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on the subject of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe.
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September 17, 2018
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued recent guidance regarding construction of commercial solar energy properties and other qualified energy properties for purposes of claiming the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the key tax credit for solar energy projects, under Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code.
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The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on per-fluorinated chemical contamination on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, at 10 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a health advisory for two PFAS chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) at 0.070 micrograms per liter (μg/L) or 70 parts per trillion (ppt).
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As previously reported, on Aug. 31, 2018, Kevin J. McIntyre, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Howard "Skip" Elliott, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation executed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding Liquefied Natural Gas Transportation Facilities (MOU). The MOU continues the longstanding working relationship between FERC and PHMSA with respect to review of proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, but creates a more formal relationship.
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September 5, 2018
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In the wake of the PFAS National Leadership Summit convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 22-23, 2018, EPA opened a public docket to solicit comments on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a category of man-made chemicals that have been widely used to make products because of their stain-resistant, waterproof and/or nonstick properties.
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On Aug. 23, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its results of efforts to study a variety of technologies used to remove Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from drinking water.
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