Spring 2016: Energy in the 21st Century

Incorporating Small-Scale Hydropower Projects into Our Energy Future

Incorporating Small-Scale Hydropower Projects into Our Energy Future

Untapped potential could double U.S. hydropower production, and recent federal legislation has paved the way for additional small-scale hydropower development by streamlining the federal regulatory approval processes.

If fully implemented, a joint memo from OMC, CEQ, and the Office of Science and Technology has game-changer potential to move the ecosystem services concept to the next level in environmental law.

The nation’s first offshore wind farm—a five-turbine demonstration project that will power 17,000 homes—is under construction in Rhode Island waters off the coast of Block Island.

The prevalence of organizational actors in the environmental arena and the significant criminal sanctions imposed by environmental laws mean the DOJ’s emphasis on prosecuting individuals connected with corporate violations deserves attention in the environmental context.

Each of three CPP rulemaking documents discusses EPA’s efforts to seek input from tribes, but implications for Indian country exist that do not appear to have received sufficient consideration.

While courts generally have upheld federal agencies’ authority to issue broad and comprehensive regulations, recently the trend toward upholding unfettered agency authority is reversing.

Although transfer and consolidation can provide benefits for litigants and the courts, the JPML found the arguments in favor of consolidation of multiple challenges to the final rule on the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act unpersuasive.


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