Ronald Farley

Ronald Farley

Burr & Forman

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Alabama Joins Challenge to EPA's Rule Limiting Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

Alabama has joined several other states in a petition filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule regulating emissions standards for certain...more

8/15/2016 - Appeals Energy Sector Environmental Policies EPA Final Rules National Emissions Standards Natural Gas Oil & Gas

Carbon Tax?

One of the many issues in the current Presidential campaign involves the question of whether to pursue a tax on carbon emissions. The matter has been viewed by the Clinton campaign with some interest but not commitment,...more

8/2/2016 - Carbon Emissions Carbon Taxes Climate Change Energy Sector Environmental Policies Exxon Mobil

Advancing Chemical Safety – Maybe the Art of Compromise Isn’t Such a Bad Thing

President Obama signed a major reform of the Nation’s chemical safety standards on Wednesday, June 22. The legislation amended the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, providing the first substantive changes in the 40-year old...more

7/6/2016 - Chemicals Environmental Policies EPA Legislative Amendments Manufacturers Risk Management Safety Standards Toxic Chemicals Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Air Emissions Regulated Under RCRA?

Certain regulated entities that operate under Clean Air Act permits are being reminded that those permits do not necessarily cover air emissions associated with the management of hazardous wastes regulated by the federal...more

6/9/2016 - Air Pollution Clean Air Act Energy Sector EPA Hazardous Waste National Emissions Standards Oil & Gas RCRA Refineries

Coal: Hope in the Face of Pressure?

The coal industry has experienced substantial economic turmoil over the recent past, including bankruptcies – most recently by Peabody Energy Corporation – but also by Arch Coal, Inc., Walter Energy, Inc., and Patriot Coal...more

5/3/2016 - Coal Coal Industry Energy Sector National Emissions Standards Natural Gas Oil & Gas

Renewable Energy Projects Are Making Impacts in Several Ways – – Nationally and Worldwide

Renewable energy investments (primarily solar and wind generation) set a record in 2015 with a collective investment of $286 billion. This according to a report from the United Nations Environment Progamme. (Climate Central...more

4/8/2016 - Coal-Fired Generation Collective Investment Schemes Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Energy Policy Investment Opportunities Renewable Energy Solar Energy Wind Power

Construction E-Note - March 2016

Flint, Michigan’s problems with lead in its drinking water have been well documented, and this has prompted reports of similar problems detected in other communities, even though these are apparently not as extensive as the...more

3/21/2016 - Construction Disputes Construction Industry DOL Drinking Water Federal Contractors FLSA Highways Minimum Salary Minimum Wage Over-Time Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

Drinking Water Contamination in Flint and Other Communities Reveals Much More Extensive Problems

Flint, Michigan’s problems with lead in its drinking water have been well documented, and this has prompted reports of similar problems detected in other communities, even though these are apparently not as extensive as the...more

3/7/2016 - CDC Contamination Drinking Water EPA Hazardous Substances Lead Safe Drinking Water Act Water

Avoiding A Water Crisis Similar to That of Flint Will Require Both Technical and Practical Effort

The problems with the quality of drinking water in Flint, Michigan, are not necessarily an isolated collection of failures. From a technical standpoint, the potential for lead leaching into drinking water systems in many...more

2/3/2016 - Drinking Water EPA Lead Water

Some Things Upcoming in 2016

As the New Year begins, a number of issues will compete for attention from Congress and the courts, and we may even get some final determinations about matters that have been long simmering. Much of the substantive work of...more

1/5/2016 - Boilers Clean Power Plan EPA Hazardous Waste MATS NESHAP Waters of the United States

Climate Change: Nations United-Nations Divided?

The third global summit on climate change has begun its meetings in Paris. Unlike the two previous summits, in Kyoto (1997) and Copenhagen (2009), there is optimism that an agreement under the auspices of the United Nations...more

12/2/2015 - Carbon Emissions Clean Power Plan Climate Change Global Warming Pollution Control United Nations

Climate Change and Creative Problem Solving

A story in the New York Times recently portrays the ice cap in Greenland as rapidly disappearing. (NYT). Indeed, the pictures are dramatic. The story is based on experiences and observations from scientists working in the...more

11/4/2015 - Alaska Arctic Drilling Climate Change Environmental Policies Global Warming New York Times Oil & Gas

Flint Water System Troubles May Signal Numerous, Potentially Broad-Ranging Problems

For the City of Flint, Michigan, the immediate problem is that the water it provides its citizens is not safe to drink. For many other communities across the nation, the problem may be whether they can do the things necessary...more

10/12/2015 - Contamination Drinking Water Lead Public Health Water Supplies

Clean Power Rule Challenges Will Proceed Sooner or Later, But Its Goal May Already Be Close at Hand

Legal challenges filed almost immediately after President Obama announced the Clean Power Rule may be premature. That is what attorneys for EPA told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently in...more

9/3/2015 - Appeals Carbon Emissions Clean Power Plan Climate Change Coal Industry Energy Sector EPA Federal Register Fracking Greenhouse Gas Emissions Kyoto Protocol MATS Mercury Natural Gas Obama Administration Oil & Gas Toxic Exposure Utility Sector

Obama Announces Clean Power Plan, Fights to Follow

On August 3, 2015, President Obama announced the finalization of the long-awaited Clean Power Plan, a policy primarily intended to further the commitment to combatting global warming. The Plan focuses on the electric power...more

8/7/2015 - Carbon Emissions Clean Power Plan Climate Change Coal Industry Environmental Policies EPA Federal Register Global Warming Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mercury Natural Gas Obama Administration Oil & Gas Renewable Energy

Supreme Court Halts Implementation of EPA Rule on Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: The Practical Effects Are...

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court halted further implementation of a U.S. EPA’s regulation limiting mercury and other hazardous air toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired electric power plants. In a 5-4 decision, the...more

7/2/2015 - Chevron Deference Chevron v NRDC Cost-Benefit Analysis Energy Sector EPA MATS Michigan v. EPA Power Plants SCOTUS

EPA Issues Clean Water Rule Defining Waters Of The United States

On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, EPA issued a long-awaited rule defining “Waters of the United States.” The final rule is available as a prepublication version. Elsewhere, on EPA’s Clean Water Rule webpage, there are a number of...more

6/2/2015 - Clean Water Rule EPA Final Rules NAM National Association of Manufacturers US Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the United States

Corn-Based Ethanol Debate Intensifies – – A Bit

A recent article in USA Today questions whether ethanol’s days are numbered. While that article is written from the perspective of whether the stock of ethanol producing companies is a good investment, it focuses on some of...more

5/4/2015 - Biofuel Energy Sector Ethanol Oil & Gas

New Coal Ash Regulations Causing Additional Controversy

Last December, EPA announced its final rule regarding the management of coal combustion residuals (“CCR” a/k/a “coal ash”). This came several years after initial alternative proposals were offered for public comment, and the...more

4/2/2015 - Coal Ash Coal Industry EPA Final Rules Legislative Agendas Rulemaking Process

EPA’s Rules Related to Carbon Emissions and Climate Change Prompt A New Focus By The Opposition

EPA’s new rules for limiting emissions of carbon dioxide for both existing power plants and proposed plants have prompted at least two substantive reports by public policy institutes focusing on the economic aspects of the...more

3/3/2015 - Carbon Emissions Climate Change Energy Sector EPA Power Plants Regulatory Agenda

Fracking: To Ban Or Not To Ban?

The process of hydraulic fracturing (also known simply as “fracking”) continues to divide the public and public policymakers, even as resulting lower natural gas prices have encouraged industries, including many power plants,...more

2/3/2015 - Carbon Emissions Coal Industry Coal-Fired Plants Energy Policy EPA Fracking Fracking Bans Legislative Agendas Natural Gas Oil & Gas

Environmental Issues and The Republican Majority

Expectations are running high among some that the incoming Republican majority in both Houses of Congress will act to change or eliminate various environmental regulations and statutory provisions that they claim harm the...more

1/6/2015 - Carbon Emissions Clean Air Act Coal Industry Coal-Fired Generation Environmental Policies Infrastructure Legislative Agendas Oil & Gas Political Parties Power Plants

Coal Ash Regulation Update

The U.S. EPA’s efforts to develop a new regulatory path for coal ash (“Coal Combustion Residuals” or “CCR”) by regulating the material either as a hazardous waste or as a solid but non-hazardous waste, are nearing a...more

12/3/2014 - Coal Coal Ash Coal Industry EPA Hazardous Substances Regulatory Agenda Waste

EPA Further Delays Hydraulic Fracturing Study as Controversy Builds

EPA’s current estimate of the completion time for a draft of its study of the risks posed by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to drinking water is now projected by the agency to be developed in early 2015. This is based on...more

11/4/2014 - Chemicals Contamination Delays Drinking Water Environmental Policies EPA Fracking Hazardous Substances Investigations Water Water Supplies

Carbon and Climate Continue to Create Controversy

Late last month, President Obama addressed the United Nations Climate Summit and just a few days ahead of that, EPA announced that it has extended the comment period on the Clean Power Plant proposed rule to December 1, 2014....more

10/1/2014 - Carbon Emissions Clean Power Plan Climate Action Plan Climate Change Coal-Fired Generation Energy Policy Environmental Policies EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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