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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 waters. …Read More

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. In …Read More

Power Outages Reignite Debate Over Buried Power Lines

After nearly every major storm event resulting in major power outages, utilities, public officials, and customers reexamine the existing electrical distribution infrastructure. And no exception, the most recent hurricanes, Harvey in Houston, Irma in Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico, have reignited the debate over buried lines and whether the risks are worth the investment. When Harvey hit Texas, Houston had almost 24,000 circuit miles of underground distribution lines and …Read More

International Trade Commission finds harm to U.S. Manufacturers from Solar Panel Imports

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) voted unanimously last week that domestic producers of solar panels have been significantly harmed by unfair competition from imported solar panels. They have until November to determine if they will recommend a specific remedy to the Trump administration, which could include a tariff on solar panel imports. Suniva, Inc., a U.S. solar panel producer based in Georgia, which declared bankruptcy in April, filed a petition …Read More

UPDATE: HB 589 becomes Law with Wind Energy Moratorium; Governor Issues Executive Order in Response

Governor Roy Cooper signed the Competitive Energy Solutions for NC, Session Law 2017-192, on Thursday July 27, 2017. Although the new law contains an 18-month moratorium on the issuance of new permits for wind energy facilities in the state, the governor also simultaneously issued Executive Order No. 11, “Promoting Wind Energy Development” ordering the state to proceed with the review and processing of wind energy permit applications. The new law is the …Read More