Partner Megan Caldwell recently published “EPA Rollback of Rule Regulating Wastewater from Steam Electric Plants Allows Coal Companies Some Relief” in Rock Products Magazine, discussing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rollback of former President Barack Obama-era limits on wastewater effluent regulations governing the amount of toxic metals that coal-fired power plants can discharge in their wastewater.
Coty Hopinks-Baul recently published “Implementation of Navigable Waters Protection Rule” in Rock Products Magazine, discussing the new rule and how the agencies charged with implementing it will encounter new policy considerations and may struggle with consistency in decision-making.
In the latest edition of Rock Products, Daniel Fanning discussed the Trump administration’s second in a two-step act to un-muddy the waters with a new rule defining the scope and reach of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). This act reversed the course set by the Obama administration in 2015, a rule that lent itself to justifying the regulation of WOTUS areas far beyond the banks and boundaries of cognizable water bodies. Read Daniel’s analysis here.
Avi Meyerstein recently published “Stay Healthy by Taking Smart Action, ” a five-step plan for dealing with COVID-19 in the mining industry in Rock Products Magazine. Continue Reading COVID-19 Planning in the Mining Industry
Daniel Fanning recently published an article in Coal Age on the Trump Administration’s new rule defining the scope and reach of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). This act reversed the Obama Administration’s course, one that justified the regulation of WOTUS areas beyond the banks and boundaries of cognizable water bodies. Read the article here.
In a move to provide relief for taxpayers developing renewable energy projects and producing electricity from sources such as wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, and hydropower, the IRS has issued Notice 2020-41 which adds an extra year to the four year “Continuity Safe Harbor” for certain projects that began construction in 2016 or 2017. Continue Reading IRS Extends Continuity Safe Harbor from 4 to 5 years.
The economy may be stalled, but the use of Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 just opened back up for non-oil and gas pipeline projects. A recent decision rocked the permitting community as a judge vacated NWP 12 outright because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by not consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prior to reissuing NWP 12. However, earlier this week, Judge Morris amended the remedy provided in his April 15, 2020 order, which vacated all continuing use of NWP 12. Continue Reading Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 Re-Opened for Non-Oil and Gas Pipeline Projects
On Monday May 4, 2020, the Department of Commerce issued a news release announcing the start of a Section 232 investigation on imports of “Laminations and Wound Cores for Incorporation Into Transformers, Electrical Transformers, and Transformer Regulators.” This investigation is effectively an examination of whether or not to expand the current Section 232 tariffs on steel to include these products.
Husch Blackwell has been following these developments closely and has published a thorough analysis here. We encourage clients to contact our International Trade and Supply Chain team should they wish to submit comments on this Section 232 investigation.
Like other segments of the economy, the renewable energy industry is dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several states still have restricted business activities and are only now considering lifting those restrictions. Many equipment suppliers, contractors, and project owners have sent or received force majeure notices under their respective contracts and disputes may arise over whether a COVID-related delay in performance is excused. Continue Reading Is COVID-19 a force majeure event that excuses performance on renewable energy construction projects?