Kamila Lis-Coghlan

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The recent decision by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land from its December 13th oil and gas auction is at least a temporary victory for environmentalists, whose efforts to protect the Greater Sage Grouse have led them to challenge the Trump administration’s policy of accelerating drilling on public lands.…
As demand for solar energy has grown, employment in the U.S. solar industry has boomed to more than double the number of coal industry workers and nearly equal to employment in the natural gas industry. While solar energy jobs are among the safest in the energy sector, over the past 18 months the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has sought to levy large fines against some high profile solar industry employers for alleged safety…
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently announced its intent to update regulations governing its management of oil and gas activities on national wildlife refuges.  The proposal responds in part to a March 2015 report by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior, which called management of oil and gas development “inconsistent, and at times, nonexistent” due to lack of data about the locations and operational statuses of drilling wells and…
Since the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated the Greater Sage-Grouse as a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2010, environmentalists and industry stakeholders have vehemently disagreed about the species’ need for federal protection. While FWS is expected to announce its decision later this month, new data suggests that local efforts to protect the sage grouse may be succeeding.…
As the partisan debate about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan continues, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop (R-Utah) recently suggested that the agency’s forthcoming carbon emission rules could significantly harm the West Indian Manatee, a mammal that has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1967.[1] Manatees, known colloquially as sea cows, are herbivorous aquatic mammals that inhabit shallow coastal areas and rivers of…
While the federal debate over Sage-Grouse protections has stalled since the passage of the FY15 appropriations bill—which as we discussed in Sage-Grouse Rider Frustrates Conservation Efforts included a rider effectively prohibiting the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from issuing new rules concerning the birds—the discussion continues at the state level.  In particular, Idaho and Utah recently announced new conservation measures in an attempt to demonstrate that the Greater Sage-Grouse can adequately be protected…
The debate over federal protections for the Sage-Grouse species we discussed in “FWS Announces ESA Protection for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse” continued this month with the passage of the FY15 appropriations bill, which includes a rider prohibiting the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from using the Department of the Interior’s funding to issue new rules concerning the birds.  Introduced by Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), the rider provides that “[n]one of the…
On November 12, 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse would be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Meanwhile, questions remain about how a related species, the Greater Sage-Grouse, will be categorized under ESA when FWS makes a decision on its status in September 2015.  Because the sage-grouses’ habitat spans millions of acres and ranges across several western states that are considered…
In a move designed to provide greater certainty to those purchasing, selling, or evaluating industrial or commercial properties, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed to remove any lingering effect of ASTM International’s E1527-05, a nine-year-old industry standard practice for evaluating potentially contaminated sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). As explained in detail in our February 24, 2014 E-Alert, “Amended All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule Offers New Due Diligence