On October 1, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing changes to the Part 195 regulations for hazardous liquid pipelines.  In this alert, we review what PHMSA is proposing, what it is not proposing, and identify some initial questions raised by the NPRM.  Comments are due January 8, 2016.  Why did PHMSA issue this proposal? PHMSA is responding to issues raised by recent accidents, mandates from the 2011 amendments to the pipeline safety laws[1], recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and comments received in response to its October 2010 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. What has... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman has developed a comprehensive Clean Power Plan Resource Guide.  The Resource Guide provides clear explanations of all the major components of not only the EPA’s final Clean Power Plan rule, but also the proposed federal plan and model trading rules, and the final rule establishing GHG performance standards for new, modified, and reconstructed power plants. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the Resource Guide, please contact Kyle Danish or Stephen Fotis. In order to get a sense of the broad coverage of the Resource Guide, please review the excerpt below consisting of the Introduction and the Table of Contents.   ### Excerpt from the Resource Guide Introduction In August 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency... READ MORE
"No challenge poses a greater threat to our future and future generations than a changing climate.” President Obama, August 3, 2015[i] The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA3),[ii] the most comprehensive source of scientific information to date about U.S. climate change impacts, was released in 2014.  VNF Partner TC Richmond served as the vice chair of the federal advisory committee that authored the NCA3 and was a lead author of the water resources chapter. This article provides highlights of the NCA3 focused on the Northwest and proposes a framework for viewing current societal actions and future proposed actions related to climate change. Highlights of the NCA3 Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved... READ MORE
Join nationally recognized industry leader, Kyle Danish, as he discusses the Clean Power Plan as part of ICF's Breakfast Series. Kyle will join Baker Botts' William Bumpers, as they discuss the pros and cons, and handicap whether the Clean Power Plan needs to be modified or revamped at its core to pass legal muster. For more information and to register, click here. READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman invites you join Resources for the Future for a conversation between Bob Nordhaus and RFF President Phil Sharp, as they discuss the evolution of US climate policy and its future prospects. Bob played a central role in drafting two of the pillars of current US climate efforts: Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the legal underpinning of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.  Phil, when he was in Congress, was a key figure in 1975 CAFE legislation and the 1990 Clean Air Act. For more information and to register, please click here. READ MORE
Susan Olenchuk and Robert Christin will both lead sessions on ratemaking under the Natural Gas Act during New Mexico State University's "The Basics of Natural Gas Pipeline Ratemaking Course".  The course is designed to capture the nuances of the natural gas industry and includes the following topics: Overview of the Natural Gas Pipeline Industry FERC Ratemaking Authority Under the Natural Gas Act FERC's Step-by-Step Process of Determining Rates FERC Regulation of Pipeline Construction   For more information and to register, please visit New Mexico State University's website. READ MORE
Dan Press, member of the firm's Native Affairs practice and the firm's pro bono coordinator, was recently profiled in Columbia College Today.  To read the full article, please click here. READ MORE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Van Ness Feldman is pleased to announce that Tyson Kade has been promoted to Of Counsel. Mr. Kade represents clients before federal agencies and state and federal courts on a range of matters involving natural resources, pipeline safety, and energy law. Mr. Kade provides strategic guidance on Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Clean Water Act compliance and liability issues, and assists with permitting for energy development and hydropower projects. Mr. Kade also counsels pipeline, LNG, and electric clients on regulatory compliance and administrative appeals involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. In announcing Mr. Kade's... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman congratulates the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) on the acquisition of the Kerr Project, a 194 MW hydro project located on Flathead Lake in Montana.  When the acquisition is complete on Sept 5, 2015, the CSKT become the first tribe in the nation to wholly own and operate a major hydropower facility. This historic milestone has been over 30 years in the making.  The Kerr Project acquisition is occurring pursuant to a 1985 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing order which provided that CSKT could acquire the Project thirty years into the fifty year license term.   Since the 1985 licensing order, CSKT and Energy Keepers Incorporated (EKI), a tribally owned corporation, have tirelessly worked to prepare for... READ MORE