Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Executive Order on Review of Designations under the Antiquities Act

President Trump signed an Executive Order (“EO”) on April 26, 2017, directing the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations of national monuments under the Antiquities Act.1  The review mandated by the EO…

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Executive Order on the Clean Water Rule

The Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the Unites States” (WOTUS) Rule issued on February 28, 20171 articulated the Trump administration’s policy on navigable waters, and attempted to roll back…

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Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects

On his second day in office, President Trump issued several executive orders and memoranda intended to overhaul the environmental review and approval process for pipeline and other infrastructure projects. Among them was EO 13755, intended to expedite environmental reviews and approvals for…

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The Demise of Deference? Chevron’s and Auer’s Uncertain Future

Introduction: President Trump’s recent executive orders and ongoing commitment to regulatory reform are finding complimentary provisions in the form of a number of bills being considered in Congress. One of those bills, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017,1 includes a provision that…

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ONRR’s Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform: A Call for Comments, Industry Here’s Your Shot

As noted in a previous update,1 on January 6, 2015 the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR) announced a proposed rulemaking amending its regulations governing valuation, for royalty purposes, of oil and gas produced from Federal onshore…

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Wind River Reservation Held Diminished: EPA’s Contrary Determination Set Aside Despite EPA Reliance on Solicitor Opinion

On February 22, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision finding that the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, established by, as relevant here, an 1896 treaty, was diminished by a 1905 Act of Congress in which the Eastern Shoshone…

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Limiting the Scope of “Joint Employment” Under New Mexico Law

In a recent opinion, the New Mexico Court of Appeals refused to affirm a jury verdict finding that several affiliated entities qualified as either “joint venturers” or “joint employers.”  See Wirth v. Sun Healthcare Grp., Inc., 2017-NMCA-007, 2016 N.M. App. LEXIS 94….

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Dakota Access Pipeline Project Update

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project continues to be the subject of extensive news coverage and ongoing controversy. Last quarter’s Watch discussed U.S. District Judge Boasberg’s memorandum opinion denying the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, which was immediately followed…

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Tule Wind Farm Passes NEPA Test, Again

On March 6, 2017, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California rejected a challenge to a wind project in southeastern San Diego County, with known potential impacts to golden eagles.1 The project consisted of two phases, Phase I which…

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Joint Employment and Overtime Obligations

Generally, an employee is not entitled to overtime pay unless she/he works more than 40 hours a week for a single employer. It is not uncommon, however, for a company which has a subsidiary company to employ some staff to work for both…

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