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Recently, our colleagues Rob James and Stella Pulman co-authored Getting the Deal Through: Gas Regulation 2018, in which they describe the domestic natural gas sector, including the natural gas production, liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage, pipeline transportation, distribution, commodity sales and trading segments and retail sales and usage.

Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. Getting the Deal Through: Gas Regulation 2018 (published in March 2018; contributing editors: David Tennant and Adam Brown of Dentons UKMEALLP). For further information, click here.

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Today, our colleagues Dick Oliver and Alex Ginsberg posted their Alert titled Changes Imminent for GAO Bid Protests. Takeaways include:

  • The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recently issued final rule implements a formal electronic filing system and imposed a one-time, nominal filing fee;
  • Other changes clarify ambiguities or conflicts in the prior regulations; and
  • Changes take effect on May 1, 2018.

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In recent years many industries, including, by way of example only, the solar industry, have rapidly adopted text messaging to, among other things, keep in touch with their customers, to alert customers to the availability of new goods and services, and to entice customers to upgrade their systems with a promotional offer or rebate-related information. Pre-recorded calls and text messages are governed by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) implementing rules. In recent years, thousands of nationwide consumer class actions have been filed alleging violations of the TCPA – including bare technical violations – and seeking up to $1,500 for each alleged unlawful pre-recorded call and/or text message.

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The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act’s (CERCLA, also known also as Superfund) stringent hazardous substance release reporting requirements are set forth as Section 103 of Superfund. A spill or release of a reportable quantity of a regulated hazardous substance must be reported immediately by the person in charge of the facility or vessel to the National Response Center. The hundreds of listed hazardous substances and their reportable quantities are set forth at 42 C.F.R. § 302.4 of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules. Their requirements apply to almost all facilities, with the exception of federally permitted releases, including farms.

This newest exception to the CERLA notification requirements is included in the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act, or FARM Act, that was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.

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On March 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided an important oil spill cost recovery case: In re Petition of Frescati Shipping Co., Ltd. v. Citgo Asphalt Refining Co., et al. It is a case concerning the apportionment of oil spill-related cleanup costs and related affirmative defenses, including subrogation, equitable recoupment, and liability limitations under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA).

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Legal arguments that the laws a state enacts which take into consideration the interests of its own citizens unfairly impede the free flow of interstate commerce are difficult to win, as demonstrated by two recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rulings. On March 29, the Second Circuit issued two Commerce Clause/Dormant Commerce Clause decisions:

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Public discourse regarding climate change is becoming focused less on whether it is occurring, and more on what society can and should do to address or slow its progression. Geoengineering, which involves deliberately modifying the earth’s climate, is gaining traction in the scientific community and may prove to be a useful tool in the future. However, as with many emerging technologies, the legal system is not designed to regulate geoengineering research and testing activities, much less widescale deployment.

In an article recently published in Pratt’s Energy Law Report, Pillsbury partners Norman Carlin and Rob James offer their suggestions on how domestic law can be navigated effectively to facilitate the research of geoengineering technologies.

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Today, our colleagues John Jensen, Dick Oliver, David Dixon and Alex Ginsberg published their Alert titled Defenders of the Debriefing, New DoD rules enhance contractors’ post-award debriefing rights. Takeaways include:

  • New rules for all Department of Defense (DoD) agencies expand offerors’ rights in connection with post-award debriefings in federal procurements.
  • Offerors now have 2 business days to submit questions to agencies after their debriefings begin, and the debriefings are not concluded until the agencies answer those questions, which they must do in writing within 5 business days.
  • The protest clock for a disappointed offeror only begins to run after the agency answers the offeror’s questions.

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The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 includes, at pages 1768-1786 of the bill, the “Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2018,” also known as the “BUILD Act.” This is a bi-partisan bill whose enactment has been spurred by the realization there may be as many as 450,000 Brownfields sites around the country that require some financial assistance to be cleaned up and restored to productive uses. In contrast, there are only 1300 sites on the Superfund National Priorities List.

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