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Environmental Law Update

  • Comment Period Extended for Proposed EPA Rule Substantially Expanding Federal Jurisdiction Over Waters of the U.S., Including Creeks and Ditches

    June 17, 2014

    On April 21, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("U.S. EPA") published a proposed rule that expands the federal jurisdiction over "Waters of the United States" under the Federal Clean Water Act ("CWA").The importance of the proposed rule for the agricultural industry and developers cannot be understated.  It would substantially expand the jurisdiction of the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.  U.S. EPA recently announced that it was extending the public comment period on the Rule by 90-days or until October 21, 2014. Additional public comment is necessary so that U.S. EPA can understand the far reaching impact of the proposed rule and the extent of the opposition to it.

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  • MISO Says Presque Isle Coal-Fired Plant Must Stay Open

    November 20, 2013

    The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) has concluded that the 431 MW Presque Isle coal-fired power plant must remain open for reliability reasons. As a result, it has denied the request by We Energies to suspend operations at its plant by February 2014.

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  • DEQ’s Missed Wetland Deadline Raises Questions for Farmers

    October 31, 2013

    The DEQ failed to meet the Oct. 1 deadline for developing and maintaining a general permit for alteration of wetland for blueberry farming that includes drainage and earthmoving. This requirement was part of a larger compromise between the DEQ and farming interests on provisions in the wetland statue that the U.S. EPA had found to be inconsistent with the Clean Water Act's wetland program. The DEQ failure to meet the deadline raises several issues for farmers concerning that compromise.

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  • Michigan’s Wetland Statute Amended to Satisfy U.S. EPA

    July 10, 2013

    On July 2, 2013, Gov. Rick Snyder signed SB 163 (which became Public Act 98 of 2013), ending a five-year struggle between Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. P.A. 98 essentially brings Michigan's Wetland Statute in line with the Clean Water Act's wetland provisions, and should lead to either greater preservation of wetlands and/or more wetland permitting efforts (and disputes).
     

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  • President’s Carbon Reduction Initiative to Impact Michigan

    June 28, 2013

    President Barack Obama has called for stricter regulations on coal-fired power plants. Michigan which has a large portion of its energy supplied by coal fired power plants, is likely to be impacted as 65% of its energy is produced by coal.

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  • EPA Misses Deadline on Setting Greenhouse Gas Limits

    April 29, 2013

    The Environmental Protection Agency had set an April 13 deadline for itself to impose first-ever greenhouse gas limits on new power plants. The limits were proposed a year ago by EPA.

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