The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved a final rule on the environmental effects of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel and will lift its suspension of final licensing actions on nuclear power plant licenses and renewals once the rule becomes effective-- marking the end of a two-year effort to satisfy a remand by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The California Assembly and Senate have voted unanimously in favor of Senate Bill 1414, which will accelerate the use of demand response that will allow people and technology, rather than power plants, to meet California's rising electricity needs.
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve a settlement, which West Penn must pay to the state's General Fund within 30 days. West Penn may not seek to recover any portion of the settlement payment from ratepayers or in rates.
The new recommendations call for immediate action by utilities to defer or eliminate costly and inefficient investment in conventional generation or transmission upgrades. Instead, they must invest in renewable energy and energy-efficiency resources as a way to drive New York's energy infrastructure into the 21st century.
On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the Clean Power Plan, a proposed regulation to achieve a 30 percent decrease in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2030. For those in high carbon-emission industries, or whose revenue streams depend in some part thereon, the proposed Plan is likely to affect both current and long term costs and operations.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois have filed an "Open Data Access Framework" with state regulators that would, for the first time, give customers the right to automatically receive detailed information about their own energy usage, empowering customers control their own energy usage, conserve energy, and reduce carbon pollution.
"Sue and settle" continues to be an attractive vehicle for regulation, because it is difficult for states and industries to intervene in these lawsuits and plaintiffs are often compensated for their attorneys' fees, incentivizing litigation, but the use of this type of litigation can be abused.
The Gold Shovel Standard was developed by PG&E in accordance with California Government Code 4216, which governs excavation work in the state. Among other requirements, contractors must demonstrate that they call 811 before any excavation work begins to have underground lines located and marked by utility owners.
On June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court handed down the latest decision in its line of climate change rulings. In Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, a group of utilities and other large emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) challenged the EPA's program for regulating GHG emissions from stationary sources under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) provisions of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA).
Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation authorizing $31.5 million in state financing through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund to raise New Jersey American Water's largest water treatment plant's existing floodwall to withstand even a 500-year flood.