Is Colorado the Next Front in the PURPA Wars?

In 1978, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) was signed into law with the overall goals of promoting energy conservation and encouraging the development of domestic renewable energy resources.  Among other mechanisms, PURPA sought to accomplish these goals through the recognition of a new class of generating facilities – Qualifying Facilities (QF).  In general, …

Alternative Energy Production Leads to Unexpected Consequences

As wind and solar energy becomes more economical and states pass legislation requiring energy producing companies to have greater percentages of renewable energy as part of their portfolios, unexpected consequences are occurring.  In an article by Bloomberg LP on August 7, 2018, recent data shows that the amount of electricity being generated exceeds demand during …

EPA Seeks Overhaul of Ozone NAAQS

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memorandum on May 9th that directs the agency’s staff to begin a five-year review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone. The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to periodically review the NAAQS, including both primary and secondary standards, for criteria air pollutants such as ozone …

Colorado Energy and Utilities Legislation

Winners and Losers in the 2018 Colorado General Assembly – The warm weather has returned, spring sports are in full swing, and the Colorado General Assembly has adjourned for 2018. That means it’s time to take a look at the scorecard and review the energy and utilities related issues that won and lost this legislative season. …

Changes Proposed to Research and Data Used by EPA

As recently reported in a number of news outlets, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed a rule within the EPA that would require the Agency to use research that is publicly available in promulgating new rules alleged to be “scientifically-based.”  This could be an important change to every company over which EPA …

Arizona Water Permitting Process Updated

Governor Ducey recently signed two bills passed by the Arizona legislature dealing with water quality programs. The first, SB1494 requires the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to establish an Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit program. In doing so, the State will assume primacy for UIC permitting under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The ADEQ attempted …

EPA Centralizes Responsibility for Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations

On March 30, 2018, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memorandum and delegation of authority that move responsibility for the EPA’s role in Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations to EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water. Responsibility for this role previously resided with regional EPA administrators. Jurisdictional Determinations are a critical aspect of the “dredge-and-fill” permitting requirements under section 404 …

EPA Seeks Comment on Possible Regulation of Groundwater Discharges

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently requested public comments on whether pollutant discharges that reach “waters of the United States” are subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. This announcement comes on the heels of a recent Ninth Circuit decision finding that certain …