The Second Circuit upheld a "depredation permit" FWS issued to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey authorizing the emergency "take" of migratory birds that threaten to interfere with aircraft at the John F. Kennedy International Airport. An animal rights group argued that applicable regulation does not authorize FWS to issue a permit that allows the emergency take of a migratory bird irrespective of its species. But the court disagreed, holding that FWS may issue depredation permits that contain non-species-specific emergency-take provisions.
A settling CWA defendant that failed to comply with the terms and conditions of an NPDES permit for discharges of stormwater from a municipal separate storm sewer system must pay a $280,000 civil penalty and perform injunctive relief to comply with the permit.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld FERC's "demand-response" rule under which operators of wholesale electricity markets, in specified circumstances, must pay the same price to providers for conserving energy as to generators for producing it. The D.C. Circuit vacated the rule, holding that FERC lacked authority to issue the order because it directly regulates the retail electricity market. But the Supreme Court reversed. The Federal Power Act provides FERC with the authority to regulate wholesale market operators' compensation of demand response bids.
The February 2016 issue of ELR's News & Analysis features an article on emerging regulatory experiments in permit process coordination for endangered species and aquatic resources in California, and looks at partial takings with regard to coastal climate change adaptation. The issue also includes two excerpts from Rethinking Sustainability to Meet the Climate Change Challenge, published by ELI Press. The transcript to a recent ELI seminar on EPA's new ground-level ozone standard is included as well.