Author Archives: James Pray

About James Pray

Attorney with BrownWinick Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa.

The FCC tolls the death knell for the Internet as we know it – February 26, 2015

On February 26, 2015 the FCC voted to approve the Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order (FCC 15-24), also known as the “Open Internet Order.” The Order reclassifies the “internet” as a “telecommunications service and allows the FCC … Continue reading

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EPA Delays Rules on Clean Power Plan until summer of 2015

The Clean Power Plan proposed by EPA in June of 2014 has now received over four million comments. What is the Clean Power Plan? The EPA’s proposal has two main elements: (1) EPA-imposed state-specific emission rate-based CO 2 goals that each … Continue reading

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EPA Decides Coal Ash is Not a Hazardous Material.

Just before the Holidays the Environmental Protection Agency approved new rules governing the disposition of coal ash. EPA Director McCarthy called the new rules “pragmatic,” which is a bureaucratic code word meaning “I don’t like it, but I’m doing it anyway.” Environmental groups … Continue reading

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US Fish and Wildlife has a tool you can use to look for wetlands

Are you building on wetlands? Is the real estate you are buying listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a wetlands on its maps? If your property or prospective purchase has been identified as a wetlands then think twice … Continue reading

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Iowa Supreme Court Approves the Sale of Electricity from Solar Power.

On July 11, 2014, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling holding that the “behind the meter” direct sale of electricity generated from solar power (photo voltaic) arrays and using a power purchase agreement that sold the electricity on a cents-per-kWh basis did … Continue reading

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Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA – Narrowing EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulations

On June 23, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited and much anticipated decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. At issue was the legitimacy of the EPA’s “tailoring” Rule which sought to impose regulations on greenhouse gas emissions … Continue reading

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Federal Court Rebuffs EPA’s Effort to Require Non-Discharging Confinement Operators to Obtain an NDPES Permit

Louis Alt operates a poultry farm in Hardy County, West Virginia. All of the birds and the litter is kept under roofs. The farm does not discharge process water to any stream and followed best management practices.  Nevertheless, the EPA … Continue reading

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DNR Suspends Chapter 133 Revision.

In 2013 the Iowa Department of Natural Resources launched an effort to revise Chapter 133 of section 567 of the Iowa Administrative Code. Chapter 133 is a woefully out of date remediation rule that predates all of the advances in … Continue reading

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Iowa District Court Vacates DNR fish kill counting method as improper

Iowa District Court Judge Rustin Davenport recently issued an order vacating the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (“IDNR”) restitution assessment against Monroe Branstad, a  Forest City, Iowa farmer. The case began in 2010 when the IDNR issued a restitution assessment … Continue reading

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D.C. Circuit Rules That EPA Cannot Defer Carbon Dioxide Limits For Ethanol Plants

On July 12, 2013 the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion in the case entitled Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA, 722 F.3d 401 (C.A.D.C. 2013).  In 2011 the EPA issued regulations deferring CO2 … Continue reading

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