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Potential Circuit Split: Is Groundwater a Conduit to Jurisdictional Surface Water Under the Clean Water Act?

On Thursday December 7, 2017 the Fourth Circuit will hear oral arguments in Upstate Forever v. Kinder Morgan Energy, on whether liability under the Clean Water Act can be imposed where a pollutant is not directly discharged into surface waters, but instead reaches surface waters through an unpermitted discharge into groundwater.

 The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) prohibits unpermitted discharges of a pollutant from a point source into navigable surface

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Local Ordinances Play a Major Role in Green Infrastructure

Local governments can do a lot to promote and improve green infrastructure by implementing best practices and fostering emerging technologies. Just look at what Atlanta, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina have done through their local ordinances this year.

On November 20, 2017, Atlanta City Council unanimously adopted a new infrastructure regulation that requires all new residential and commercial buildings to install electrical infrastructure to support Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers.

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Avoided Cost Rates for PURPA Qualifying Facilities Decline after House Bill 589 and NC Utilities Commission Order

There will be a decline in avoided cost rates to be paid to renewable energy and other qualifying facilities (QFs) subject to the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA). New rates have been filed by Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Carolinas and Dominion in Docket E-100, Sub 148 and will go into effect on November 28th unless a party in that docket files specific objections as to

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New Rules Adopted for the Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy Program

On July 28, 2017, the NC Utilities Commission issued an order initiating a rulemaking procedure to adopt and amend the Commission’s rules to implement N.C.G.S. 62-110.8 (House Bill 589) that was enacted this past summer.  House Bill 589 requires Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas (together, “Duke Energy”) to develop a program for the competitive procurement of renewable energy (“CPRE”) in order to procure 2,660 MW of renewable

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Congress Takes Aim at Tax-Exempt Funding for Professional Sports Facilities

While President Trump’s very public feud with the NFL grabs the headlines these days, the U.S. House inserted a provision in the tax reform bill introduced last week which would eliminate a State or local government’s ability to issue tax-exempt debt for the development of any professional sports facility.   The House Staff prepared a summary of the bill, which includes an explanation of Section 3604, the provision relating to

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NC Utilities Commission Proposes Rules for Solar Panel Lessors

Section VI of HB 589, named the “Distributed Resources Access Act,” creates new opportunities in North Carolina for solar energy development in ways other than utility-scale solar farms. It authorizes, for the first time, the leasing of solar energy facilities for retail customers and subscription to shared community solar energy facilities.   N.C.G.S. § 62-126.7 states, “No person shall engage in the leasing of a solar energy facility without having

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