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Proposed Amendments to BLM’s Planning 2.0 Initiative Could Significantly Impact the Management of Public Lands

by Christopher W. Payne On February 25, 2016, the United States Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) published proposed amendments to its land use planning rules as a part of its “Planning 2.0” initiative that was launched in May 2015.  The purpose of the Planning 2.0 initiative is to modernize the BLM’s planning process and increase public […]

| 2 min read | Tagged: , ,
Former Associate

Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing Issued by Secretary Jewell

By Denise A. Dragoo On January 15, 2016, Interior Secretary Jewell halted federal coal leasing on public lands. Western coal companies are attempting to sort out the implications of the moratorium and exemptions set out in Secretarial Order 3338.  The Order places a “pause” on leasing for an indefinite period while the Secretary undertakes a […]

| 4 min read | Tagged: , ,

It’s the Effect of the Project on the Environment – Not the Effect of the Environment on the Project

by Sean Sherlock The California Supreme Court has resolved a longstanding uncertainty regarding the scope of environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). In 1995, a California Court of Appeal held that CEQA requires a lead agency to evaluate the effect of a project on the environment, but not the effect of the […]

Will the U.S. Supreme Court Allow Landowners into Federal Court?

by Brad Cahoon Landowners that may have wetlands on their property are in a perplexing position.  If they fill wetlands that are covered by the Clean Water Act without a permit, landowners face jail time, criminal fines, and civil penalties of $37,500 per day per violation.  If they jump into the permitting process, they face […]

| 2 min read
Former Partner

Lurking in the Shadows—Issues in Developing Historic Mine Properties: Part 1

by Jim Allen It’s a familiar admonition to exploration geologists seeking new mineral deposits:  Look first “in the shadow of the headframe.”  For a variety of reasons, a new source of production is more likely to be found not far from where historic mining took place.  But historic mining property comes with a list of […]

| 4 min read

Hardrock Mining Financial Assurances – Feasible?

By Stephen W. Smithson The EPA is slowly moving toward requiring the hardrock mining industry to provide financial assurances, pursuant to CERCLA 108(b). Although first required in 1980, these would be the first financial assurance requirements proposed by EPA. EPA recently announced that draft regulations are expected in 2016, with a final rule expected in […]

| 2 min read
Former Partner