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1st Circ. Bolsters State Powers in Gas Pipeline Reviews

Publisher: Law360
March 21, 2017

Joseph Fagan was quoted in an article, "1st Circ. Bolsters State Powers In Gas Pipeline Reviews," published in Law360. The article provides analysis of a recent ruling by the First Circuit that found an energy company needed final approval from Massachusetts environmental regulators to start building a natural gas pipeline. The decision could resolve a "gray area" in the language of the Natural Gas Act, which states that actions by a state agency are subject to judicial review, but doesn't explicitly say "final" actions. The First Circuit said there's "a long-standing and well-settled" strong presumption that judicial review of agency actions is only possible once that action becomes final. "The idea of finality is not one that is limited to the statute," Fagan told Law360. "If it's not a final order, it's not a final order, regardless of what the statute says."


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