Blog Posts: Energy Law Update

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For nearly ten years, Verrill's energy law attorneys have been providing the latest news and analysis relevant to the world of energy law: major court or regulatory orders, conference or seminar announcements, breaking news in the world of renewable energy, and novel legal issues.

Verrill Helps State’s Largest Solar Project Obtain Principal Environmental Permit

The 100-megawatt Three Rivers Solar Project in Hancock County, Maine has obtained its combined Site Law and Natural Resources Protection Act permit from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Three Rivers Solar will become the largest solar project in the state, twice the size of the next largest facility...
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D.C. Circuit Remands BOEM Cape Wind Lease under NEPA and ESA, Punts on MBTA Challenge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has dealt another setback to the Cape Wind offshore wind power project by holding yesterday in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibilities v. Hopper that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) violated...
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EPA and States Locked in Funhouse Litigation over WOTUS Rule

Eighteen states that are suing the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to block the regulation attempting to identify jurisdictional waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit...
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EPA WOTUS Rule Takes Effect in Most States - Or Does It?

The rule enacted by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers intended to clarify the scope of jurisdictional waters of the United States (often referred to as the WOTUS Rule or Clean Water Rule) was set to take effect on August 28. One day prior to that, a...
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30-Year BGEPA Take Permit Invalidated by Federal District Court

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday struck down a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulation allowing issuance of 30-year take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The court's holding is a blow, albeit likely temporary, to wind power developers seeking...
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USFWS Explores MBTA Incidental Take Permit

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it is looking into the creation of an incidental take permitting program under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Currently the regulations under the MBTA only authorize incidental take for hunting ; military readiness ; scientific collection, falconry and other special...
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News Flash: Wind Power Reduces Carbon, Other Harmful Emissions

A report released this week finds that wind power plays a significant role in reducing carbon and other harmful emissions in the state of Maine by displacing energy generation from traditional power plants. The study, conducted by Massachusetts-based consulting firm Sustainable Energy Advantage , examined the environmental impacts of...
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Energy Infrastructure Gets Regional, National and Global Attention

Energy infrastructure is all the rage these days. Earlier this week the White House released its inaugural Quadrennial Energy Review , which "examines how to modernize our nation's energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security and environmental responsibility." Not surprisingly, the report calls for major investments to upgrade...
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Halleluja: The Clean, Green Renewable Future Is Upon Us!!!

The American Wind Energy Association released its annual market report for 2014 today. As expected, most of the report's findings are quite positive, with "more wind power capacity under construction at the end of 2014 than at the end of any other year." Over 100 U.S. wind power projects...
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New Misguided Opponent of Renewables: Famous Novelist Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen
In a lapse of fact checking and logic, the normally rigorous New Yorker magazine published a lengthy essay by noted novelist and bird watcher Jonathan Franzen that, among other things, called wind and solar power "blights on the landscape" that should be abandoned in favor of bird sanctuaries because...
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USFWS Lists Northern Long Eared Bat as Threatened Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it will publish a final rule in the April 2, 2015 Federal Register designating the northern long eared bat as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The listing will become effective May 4, 2015, at which time an interim 4(d...
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BOEM Reviews Lease Request for Floating Wind Turbines off Hawaii

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is in the process of reviewing a lease request submitted by AW Hawaii Wind, LLC for two proposed 408 MW offshore wind power facilities, each consisting of 51 floating 8 MW turbines. AW Hawaii Wind is a subsidiary of Denmark-based Alpha Wind...
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DOE Says 35% of U.S. Electricity Can Be Generated by Wind Power by 2050

The U.S. Department of Energy released an in-depth analysis today entitled Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States . The report models various scenarios of wind power penetration into the U.S. energy market and concludes that under "an ambitious but credible scenario" 35 percent...
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USFWS, Congress Explore Incidental Take Exemption Under MBTA

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reportedly planning to issue a notice of intent to create an incidental take permitting regime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The permitting scheme would theoretically allow otherwise lawful activities to go forward with greater regulatory certainty, while allowing USFWS to require...
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Cacophony of Opinions as Law Court Attempts to Clarify Appeal Deadlines

In a decision that included a majority opinion, a concurrence, and two separate dissents, the Maine Supreme Court struggled mightily to establish the deadline for opponents of a wind power project to appeal an approval issued by the Town of Clifton Zoning Board of Appeals. The majority in Beckford...
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USFWS Enforces MBTA Against Wind Power For Second Time

A pair of Wyoming wind power projects has pleaded guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and agreed to pay fines that add up to $2.5 million. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Department of Justice enforced the MBTA against Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp Energy...
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Firm Highlights

Publication/Podcast

The Risks and Regulations Associated with Waterfront Development in Maine

Blog

Maine Law Court Holds Citizen's Initiative Cannot Block CMP's NECEC Transmission Line

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MPUC Issues Order Setting Forth “Discrete Electric Generating Facilities” Safe Harbor

Today, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) issued an Advisory Ruling establishing a safe harbor for the determination whether a generation facility is a Discrete Electric Generating Facility for the purposes of qualifying for...

Matter

Protection of Private Coastal Property Rights for Conservation of Intertidal Habitat

Verrill successfully represented coastal landowners in first-impression litigation against a Canadian seaweed harvesting company with global operations to determine who owns the sea plants that are growing on private intertidal property in Maine. In...

News

38 Verrill Attorneys, Across Four Offices, Recognized in 2020 Chambers & Partners Guide

(April 27, 2020) – Verrill has been rated as a Leading Firm in a total of ten categories and subcategories as evaluated by London-based Chambers & Partners , one of the world's most respected...

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Verrill Helps State’s Largest Solar Project Obtain Principal Environmental Permit

Matter

Aquaculture

Verrill represents both growers and coastal landowners regarding leasing and licensing of aquaculture enterprises.

Matter

Coastal Property Rights in Kennebunkport

We represented coastal landowners in a high-profile appeal before the Maine Supreme Court, in which the Town of Kennebunkport claimed ownership of Goose Rocks Beach against numerous homeowners whose deeds described property down to...

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MPUC Adopts Safe Harbor for Determination of “Discrete Electric Generating Facilities,” a Qualification for Net Energy Billing and Distributed Generation Programs

Yesterday, all three Maine Public Utilities Commission Commissioners agreed to adopt a new standard for the determination of what facilities qualify as “discrete electric generating facilities” under the MPUC’s Distributed Generation and Net Energy...

News

Nearly 80 Verrill Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers® 2021, Including a Dozen Named Lawyers of the Year

(August 24, 2020) – Nearly 80 Verrill attorneys were recognized as "Best Lawyers" by Best Lawyers® 2021 , including 12 attorneys named “Lawyer of the Year,” a distinguished recognition for only a single lawyer...