New NEPA Reforms could delay Renewables and Clean Electric Transmission

Federal Lands where trigger NEPA

On July 16, 2020, the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) finalized an overhaul of the guidelines for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations (rule). Supporters of the new regulations applauded the changes, but the states and numerous national environmental groups vowed to challenge the new rule in the courts. The timing of the final rule just prior to the Presidential election in November will also create a great deal of uncertainty for projects currently undergoing NEPA reviews and possible delays by those planning projects. [node:read-more:link]

Reworking NEPA in the Age of Uncertainty

Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) over the years has produced a lot of paper, delays, and high costs to make sure that projects consider the environment and adequately mitigate project impacts on proposed energy projects, including renewable energy. Current attempts by the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to revise the NEPA regulations and procedures will fail unless a cooling-off period coupled with dispute resolution with state agencies is established. [node:read-more:link]

NEPA and State Permits Permits for Energy Projects

Compliance can delay projects

Russo on Energy offers consulting services and advice to energy companies, utiltiies and investors on compliance with the the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act Section 401 permits and Coastal Zone Management Act determinations. All of these permits are required to begin construction of projects reviewed at FERC and on federal lands and federal facilties.  

The President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued revised regulations and guidance on implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in July 2020. NEPA can affect natural gas facilities, hydropower projects and also solar, wind, battery storage and transmission lines projects proposed on federal lands and at federal facilities. The regulations have eliminated consideration of cumulative effects and indirect effects and have also elevated consultation with Tribal Governments. These developments may directly affect your proposed projects and strategy in siting energy infrastructure.

The US Environmental Protection Agency also revised the Clean Water Act Section 401 regulations, which are necerssary for FERC natural gas, LNG and hydropower to be constructed and to obtain new water power licenses.  

Russo on Energy offers a half-day online overview to energy companies and utilities who need to stay abreast of these developments.  Questions? Contact us or call 703-375-9482.


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