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Category Archives: NEPA

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Keystone XL Pipeline EIS: Implications for the Pacific Northwest

Posted in Clean Energy, Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, SEPA

My partner Diane Meyers posted recently on the approval of the Keystone XL EIS, and that led me to thinking about the implications of this document with respect to the Pacific Northwest. The Keystone XL EIS may be an important precedent for energy projects in the Pacific Northwest, notably the efforts to export coal from… Continue Reading

Keystone Pipeline (Part 2) Receives U.S. State Department’s “Blessing”

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, Regulatory

The U.S. State Department issued its final environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The study, which raised no major concerns, clears the way for the 875-mile pipeline project to proceed and, as some have noted, gives President Obama some political latitude to endorse it. The route has changed since the State Department’s… Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit’s Decision in Drakes Bay Oyster Co. v. Jewell: Implications for NEPA Decisions?

Posted in Emerging Policy, NEPA, Shellfish Industry

The Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Drakes Bay Oyster Company v. Sally Jewell on Tuesday, affirming the district court’s decision to not grant a preliminary injunction against the National Park Service keeping the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, located in Drakes Bay, part of the Point Reyes National Seashore, open while the company litigated the… Continue Reading

The Intersection of Science, Facts, and Advocacy in the Age of “Truthiness”

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, SEPA, Truthiness

One of my pet peeves as a scientist and a lawyer is the distortion of scientific data or facts in advocating policy positions or making legal arguments. Stephen Colbert did a piece a while ago on “truthiness”-which he defines as something that “feels” right. Although the references to current events are now dated, this bit… Continue Reading

The Coal Export Fight: Negative Implications for Future Dam Removal?

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Energy Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, SEPA, Uncategorized

This weekend, Lynda Mapes at the Seattle Times wrote an interesting article on the drop of barge traffic along the Lower Snake River, and how a shift from barge to rail as the means of shipping wheat from Idaho to foreign markets may take away one of the primary obstacles to the removal of four… Continue Reading

Coal Fight Update: Washington State’s Unprecedented Expansion of the Scope of Environmental Review

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, SEPA, Sustainability, Uncategorized

The plot thickens in the coal terminal fight. In my last update on this issue, I covered the Corps’ decision to not consider issues such as rail traffic, coal mining, and shipping outside of U.S. territory, in the Corps’ review of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal under the National Environmental Policy Act, because the Corps… Continue Reading

Coal Export Fight Update: Lawsuit Filed, EIS Scope Decided, Politicians Travel to D.C.

Posted in Clean Water Act, Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, Public Health Policy, Uncategorized

Lots going on with the coal export fight — here is a quick update: Citizen Suit Update: On June 4th–the earliest possible date–the Sierra Club filed suit seeking to enforce the alleged violations of the Clean Water Act detailed in its notice letter sent to BNSF and others back in April. The case is before… Continue Reading

Coal Exports from Washington: NEPA/SEPA Scoping Begins for the Millennium Coal Export Terminal

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, SEPA, Uncategorized

On Tuesday, the Washington Department of Ecology announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to jointly oversee the preparation of an environmental impact statement (“EIS”) for Millenium Coal’s proposal to develop a coal export terminal at the site of a former aluminum smelter in Longview, Washington. This MOU comes on the heels… Continue Reading