Northwest Land Matters

Northwest Land Matters

Developments in Energy, Natural Resources & Environmental, Real Estate, and Land Use Law in the Pacific NW

Category Archives: Climate Change

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White House Releases Third U.S. National Climate Assessment

Posted in Climate Change, Energy, Environmental, Uncategorized
On May 6, the White House released the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, the most authoritative and comprehensive source of scientific information to date about climate-change impacts across all U.S. regions and on critical sectors of the economy. The report, co-authored by VNF Partner, TC Richmond, is a key deliverable of President Obama’s Climate Action… Continue Reading

Federal Advisory Committee Releases Draft Climate Assessment Report for Public Review

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Environmental
The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC), of which VNFGD partner TC Richmond serves as Vice Chair, has concluded that the evidence for a changing climate has strengthened considerably since the last National Climate Assessment report written in 2009. Following extensive review by the National Academies of Sciences and by the public, this newly… Continue Reading

Climate, Energy, & Air Update January 2013

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Environmental, Land Use, Water Law
Our Climate, Energy, & Air Update is intended as a general summary of major policy developments that we judge to be of interest to a broad range of our clients and friends.   This month’s edition features discussion on the following: The D.C. Circuit invalidates the cellulosic biofuel volume requirements for the 2012 Renewable Fuel Standard… Continue Reading

Governor Gregoire Sounds the Alarm on Ocean Acidification

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Environmental
On Nov. 27, 2012, Governor Gregoire’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification released its report outlining recommended actions that Washington State can take in response to ocean acidification. These actions include advocating for a comprehensive strategy to reduce carbon emissions and reducing land-based contributors to acidification such as nitrogen pollution from farms, lawns, and urban… Continue Reading

VNF Introduces Launches Environmental Appellate Litigation Tracking Tool

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental, Water Law
With the sheer volume of environmental litigation currently in progress that will impact the regulated community, Van Ness Feldman has developed an Environmental Appellate Litigation Tracking Tool  which follows developments in the most significant federal appellate environmental cases in the areas of air quality, water quality, and waste.  We aspire to update these litigation matrices… Continue Reading

BLM Releases Draft Impact Management Plans and Design Criteria for Solar Projects

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Energy Efficiency/Sustainability, Environmental, Land Use
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages approximately 264 million acres of Federal lands around the country, has issued two draft documents in support of BLM’s recent push to expedite permitting of utility-scale solar power projects in six Southwestern states.  One of the documents is a set of standard design criteria for solar projects,… Continue Reading

Domestic Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increased in 2010

Posted in Climate Change, Energy Efficiency/Sustainability
The EPA has published the final version of its latest Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, covering trends in domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and sequestration between 1990 and 2010.  Despite trends to “Go Green,” the report found that U.S. emissions totaled 6,822 million metric tons CO2-equivalent in 2010, a 3.2% increase relative… Continue Reading

DOI Proposes Extended ESA Take Permits to Accommodate Energy Projects

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental, Land Use
The Department of the Interior (DOI) has proposed to extend the duration of Endangered Species Act (ESA) “take” permits allowing for non-purposeful disturbance or harm to golden and bald eagles.  If finalized, the rule would extend the term of such permits to thirty years, on the grounds that long-term authorizations are necessary for the financing… Continue Reading

Van Ness Feldman Launches Federal Funding Resource Center

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Energy Efficiency/Sustainability, Environmental, Land Use, Municipal
We are pleased to announce the launch of our Federal Funding Resource Center – – an online information tool designed to inform our clients and friends about key energy-, environment-, and resource-related federal funding opportunities across a range of federal agencies including the Departments of Energy, Defense, Agriculture, and the Interior. The Federal Funding… Continue Reading

New Report Collects Research on Designing Buildings to Resist Climate Change Impacts

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Energy Efficiency/Sustainability
A comprehensive new report by the U.S. Green Building Council and University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning evaluates research on the likely impacts of climate change on the built environment, and identifies strategies for adapting to those impacts while upholding sustainable design principles.  Among other things, the report notes that most buildings… Continue Reading

National Wildlife Federation Files New Suit Against FEMA – Seeking Injunction Halting the Sale of NFIP Flood Insurance in the Puget Sound Region

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Environmental, Land Use, Municipal
On Thursday December 8, 2011, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) initiated the most recent installment in their ongoing effort to force FEMA to change the way it operates the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).   In 2004, NWF filed a prior suit against FEMA, asserting that FEMA had violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because… Continue Reading

GordonDerr Combines Practices with Van Ness Feldman

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Environmental, Land Use, Municipal, Real Estate, Water Law
GordonDerr is excited to announce that the firm is combining with Van Ness Feldman, a nationally and regionally recognized energy, environment, transportation, and natural resources law and public policy firm with offices in Seattle and Washington, DC.  The combined firm will help a broad, national range of clients successfully navigate the next generation of real… Continue Reading

EPA Releases Report on Incorporating Climate Change Information Into Land Protection Planning

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Growth Management Act, Land Use, Land Use Planning
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just released a report assessing the feasibility of incorporating climate change impacts into planning and decision-making for land preservation efforts by government agencies and nonprofit land trusts.  The report reviewed existing decision-making processes for selected land protection programs and suggested strategies for better incorporating climate change into those processes.  These… Continue Reading

Municipal Water Supply: Sharing The Well

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Land Use, Water Law
GordonDerr partner Adam Gravley  discusses municipal water supply and ways in which cities can get creative to protect this resource in this month’s issue of Cityvision Magazine.  Also featured, groundbreaking efforts by GordonDerr clients the City of Roslyn, LOTT Alliance, and Cascade Water Alliance. Dealing with water scarcity in an age of climate change represents yet… Continue Reading

Model Ordinance for Municipal Solar Siting

Posted in Climate Change, Energy Efficiency/Sustainability, Municipal
Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law has prepared a first draft of a model small-scale solar-siting ordinance. The model ordinance offers a framework that can enable municipalities to implement and enforce the effective and efficient use of solar energy resources. The ordinance would govern all new solar energy systems of up to ten… Continue Reading

Ecology Issues New Internal Guidance for Analysis of GHGs under SEPA

Posted in Climate Change, Development, Environmental, Land Use
Without much fanfare, Ecology last month issued its internal guidance for analyzing impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during environmental review.  This is the latest round in Ecology’s ongoing effort to identify the role of the State Environmental Policy Act (“SEPA”) in addressing GHG emissions and climate change. The guidance document represents Ecology’s effort to… Continue Reading

Cowlitz County Port Development at the Center of National/International Climate Change Debate

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental, Land Use
On Wednesday,  Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer arrived in Washington to meet with Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and Cowlitz County Commissioners in an effort to support a proposal to ship Montana coal destined for Asia through Washington State.  Governor Schweitzer’s trip is garnering national attention and is the latest in a legal and policy battle that has… Continue Reading