Of interest to mineral projects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) continues to attempt to revise some of its Endangered Species Act (ESA) implementing regulations to align with the relatively recent decision from the Supreme Court in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv. (139 S. Ct. 361 (2018)). Today, it proposed new
Ryan Steen focuses his practice on environmental litigation and regulatory counseling and has extensive experience litigating high-stakes natural resources disputes, particularly those involving claims asserted under the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
He also advises clients on a variety of environmental regulatory matters. Ryan's clients include trade associations and individual organizations in the oil and gas, fisheries, forestry, hydroelectric power, mining, tourism, and geophysical exploration industries.
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Stoel Rives is actively monitoring developments in the North Slope Area Plan (NSAP). This week, the Public Review Draft of the NSAP was issued for public review and comment. Comments must be received by mail, email, fax, or through the online public comment portal by not later than July 15, 2020. Comments may also be…
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a draft Multisector General Permit (MSGP) under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program for stormwater discharges related to industrial activity. In Alaska, EPA has jurisdiction over NPDES permitting on federal property within Denali National Park, in federal waters (three miles or more offshore), and on certain …
On January 6, 2017, the federal Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued a notice of Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (“DRMP Amendment”) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”) for oil and gas leasing and development on federal lands administered by the BLM, Central Coast Field Office (“Planning Area”). 82 Fed. Reg. 1754 (Jan. 6, 2017). The DRMP Amendment and DEIS describe and analyze alternatives for the planning and management of leasing and development in the Planning Area, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The BLM administers approximately 284,000 acres of surface estate and 793,000 acres of federal mineral estate within the Planning Area.
Continue Reading Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment Released for Central California Federal Lands
On Tuesday, November 3, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum: “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment” (“Memorandum”). The Memorandum was sent to the Secretaries of Defense, Interior and Agriculture and the administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and purports to establish a general “no net loss” goal for natural resources impacted by federal actions. The Memorandum recognizes “a moral obligation to the next generation to leave America’s natural resources in better condition than when we inherited them” and establishes the following policies applicable to identified federal departments and agencies (and all bureaus and agencies within them):
- To avoid and to minimize harmful effects to land, water, wildlife and other ecological resources (natural resources), and to require compensatory mitigation for the projects they approve.
Agency mitigation policies should establish a net benefit goal or, at a minimum, a no net loss goal for natural resources each agency manages that are important, scarce, sensitive, or “consistent with [an] agency[’s] mission.”
- For compensatory mitigation, agencies are directed to give preference to advance compensation mechanisms, such as mitigation bank approaches. “Advance compensation” is defined to mean a form of compensatory mitigation for which measurable environmental benefits (defined by performance standards) are achieved before a given project’s harmful impacts to natural resources occur.
- Agencies are encouraged to use large-scale plans to identify areas where development is most appropriate, where natural resource values are irreplaceable and development policies should require avoidance, and where high natural resources values result in the best locations for protection and restoration.