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EPA’s 2015 General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Carries New Risks for Industry

In a controversial change, the 2015 version of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) general permit for industrial stormwater discharges (known as the Multi-Sector General Permit, or MSGP) expressly prohibits the...more

In Cross-Border Contamination Case, Court Holds That CERCLA Displaces Federal Common Law Public Nuisance Claim

In yet another recent case involving the intersection of CERCLA and state law, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington held that CERCLA legislatively displaced federal common law public...more

EPA to Propose Health Care Facility-Specific Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Under RCRA

EPA plans to propose new regulations this year to address the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The agency anticipates issuing a notice of proposed...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Petition Seeking TSCA Regulation of Spent Lead Bullets and Shot

On December 23, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion rejecting on the merits a petition filed by 101 environmental groups seeking to compel EPA to regulate spent lead bullets and shot under...more

EPA Significantly Revises Regulations Affecting Hazardous Materials Recyclers

On December 10, 2014, EPA released a prepublication version of its long-awaited final rule revising regulations affecting hazardous materials recyclers under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). The rule,...more

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Defamation Case Involving Fracking Claims

On August 21, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in an ongoing dispute between a homeowner and Texas-based oil driller Range Resources Corp. The case is not a typical homeowner vs. oil driller...more

EPA Proposes to no Longer Accept 2005 Version of ASTM Standards and Practices for Environmental Site Assessments as Basis for...

On June 17, 2014, EPA published a Proposed Rule to no longer acknowledge the 2005 version of ASTM International’s recently updated version of its standard for environmental site assessments – Standard 1527-13 – to meet the...more

Supreme Court Sends Strong Signal that Lower Courts Should Stop Interpreting CERCLA “in a liberal manner” and Focus on the...

The Supreme Court’s decision in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, No. 13-339, 573 U.S. __ (June 9, 2014), sends a strong message to lower courts that the oft-repeated refrain that CERCLA is a “remedial statute” that must be...more

D.C. Circuit Tells EPA Its Policy on Aggregating Sources for Clean Air Act Permitting Violates EPA’s Own Regulations

Following a ruling by the D.C. Circuit, EPA may no longer consider interrelatedness in determining adjacency when making source determination decisions in its Title V or New Source Review permitting decisions under the Clean...more

6/9/2014  /  Clean Air Act , EPA , Natural Gas , NSR , Oil & Gas , Title V

Seventh Circuit Opens the Door for Judicial Review of Citizen Suits Challenging Completed Portions of Ongoing CERCLA Cleanups

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has opened the door for judicial review of CERCLA citizen suits challenging the completed portions of some cleanup actions even when cleanup at the site is ongoing. The case is Frey v....more

Colorado Activist Group Opposed to Hydraulic Fracturing Proposes Ballot Initiative To Give Municipalities Broad Regulatory...

Last week, the Colorado Community Rights Network, an activist group that opposes hydraulic fracturing, filed a proposed ballot initiative to amend the Colorado Constitution to give municipalities extraordinarily broad...more

EPA Adopts Updated Standards And Practices For Environmental Site Assessments; Forthcoming Proposed Rule Will No Longer Accept...

On December 30, 2013, EPA published a Final Rule providing that a prospective purchaser or tenant of contaminated property may use ASTM International’s recently updated version of its standard for environmental site...more

Litigation Over Hydraulic Fracturing in New York Rolls On, As Arguments Are Made To High Court The Same Week A New Lawsuit Emerges...

On December 16, 2013, the Town of Dryden, New York filed its merits brief with the New York Court of Appeals, arguing that state law does not preempt the Town’s local zoning ordinance purporting to ban hydraulic fracturing....more

12/19/2013  /  Fracking , Fracking Bans , Oil & Gas

House Passes Bill Accelerating Oil and Gas Permits and Federal Lease Sales; White House Threatens Veto

On November 20, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1965 (“Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act”) by a vote of 228 to 192. H.R. 1965 is primarily aimed at accelerating the oil and gas permitting process....more

11/25/2013  /  Oil & Gas , Permits , Proposed Legislation

White House Threatens Veto Of House Bill Giving States Primacy Over Federal Regulation Of Hydraulic Fracturing On Federal Lands

On November 20, the U.S. House of Representatives began floor debate on a bill giving state law primacy over federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands: H.R. 2728 (“Protecting States’ Rights and Preventing...more

EPA Increases Some Civil Monetary Penalties; Majority Remain Unchanged Until 2017

Effective as of December 6, 2013, EPA has increased the civil penalties for 20 of the 88 statutory civil penalty provisions that the agency administers. The majority of civil penalties are unchanged because of the low rate of...more

CERCLA Preempts State-Law Claims Arising Out Of Petroleum Contamination

In what appears to be a first, a federal district court has held that the “Petroleum Exclusion” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) preempts state-law contribution claims...more

Environmental Groups Set Stage for Litigation Challenging BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rulemaking with Claim That BLM Is...

Eighteen environmental organizations – lead by the Sierra Club – are claiming that the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) will violate the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) if it finalizes its proposed rulemaking...more

Third Circuit Decision Allowing CERCLA Contribution Claim Based On Settlement Of State-Law Liability Sets Up Split With Second...

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided an important precedential decision last week expanding the right to seek contribution for cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental...more

New Study Posits Correlation between Extraction/Injection Wells and Seismic Events in Eagle Ford Shale

A new study assesses potential correlations between small-magnitude seismic events with fluid extraction and injection in the area of the Eagle Ford Shale of south-central Texas....more

Groups Petition the U.S. EPA to Amend Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements for the Oil and Gas Sector

EPA recently posted a March 19, 2013 petition for rulemaking by environmental groups seeking to amend the regulations governing the Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems source category (Subpart W) of EPA’s Mandatory Greenhouse...more

EPA Lifts Threat of CERCLA Liability for Some Tenants of Brownfields

Tenants who lease currently or formerly contaminated property can now benefit from protections from cleanup liability that were once available only to purchasers of such property. EPA announced its new policy in a December...more

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