Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Analyzing the critical energy and environmental issues of the day

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Whither WOTUS?

Posted in EPA, Federal, Water Law

In June 2015, EPA and the Corps of Engineers released a rule to define “waters of the United States,” affectionately referred to as WOTUS.  This definition goes to the scope of federal jurisdiction over wetlands and other waters that are not obviously free flowing and navigable.  An in-depth analysis of the rule can be found… Continue Reading

ECOS Releases “Waters of the U.S.” Paper

Posted in EPA, Federal, Water Law

On September 15, the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) released a paper produced by the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) on the new “waters of the U.S.” rules proposed by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.  The new rules are intended to bring clarity as to the jurisdictional reach of the federal government… Continue Reading

Rep. Blumenauer Introduces Water Infrastructure Bill—There’s a Grownup in the House

Posted in Northwest, Water Law

On August 1, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer introduced the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act (HR 6249) to address the nation’s aging water infrastructure.  The bill would use excise taxes targeted at industries that are dependent upon and impact safe and reliable water to reinvigorate the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF).  The CWSRF awards… Continue Reading

Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy explores relationships between water and land use regulation

Posted in Land Use, Natural Resources, Northwest, Sustainability, Water Law

The Oregon Water Resources Department (“WRD”) recently released what WRD hopes will be the final draft of Oregon’s strategy to manage the state’s water resources. The 2009 Oregon Legislature required WRD to develop an “Integrated Water Resources Strategy” (“IWRS”) to protect water quality and ensure adequate water supplies. The IWRS seeks to promote better coordination among… Continue Reading

Water and Energy: A Zero Sum Game?

Posted in Natural Resources, Renewables, Water Law

From Rick Glick of our Portland Office: Energy production from almost all technologies depends on large volumes of water.  Competition for scarce water supplies, particularly in the West, grows more intense as demand for both energy and water increases.  An obvious Northwest example is a decade-old federal case over whether elements of the Federal Columbia River… Continue Reading