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China’s Top Court Clarifies Environmental Tort Liability Standards

On June 1, 2015, China’s Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) issued an interpretation, The SPC Interpretation on Several Questions Concerning Applicable Law in the Adjudication of Environmental Tort Liability Dispute Cases...more

Do Climate Change and Same-Sex Marriage Have Anything in Common?

Recent events have me pondering this question. Most notably, in two court decisions last week, courts ordered the State of Washington and the government of the Netherlands to take more aggressive action against climate...more

District Court Declines to Provide Injunctive Relief for Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier in the California Bay-Delta

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, finding the plaintiff failed to establish that an emergency...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Forest Service Violated ESA by Failing to Reinitiate Consultation for Canada Lynx

On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Forest Service (Service) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to reinitiate consultation with the U.S. Fish...more

More Injunction Arguments In BLM Fracking Rule Litigation Prior To Major Court Hearing Tomorrow

Several more key filings have come into the federal litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands in advance of the June 23 consolidated preliminary...more

District Court Issues Order Allowing Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides under the ESA to Utilize Extra...

On June 12, 2015, Federal District Judge Maxine Chesney issued a decision in Ellis v. Housenger (N.D. Cal.) allowing the plaintiffs to utilize expert declarations and exhibits that were not included in the certified...more

Court of Appeals Grants Writ of Mandamus Requiring EPA to Take Final Action on Chlorpyrifos Petition

On June 10, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a petition for a writ of mandamus for a petition filed by Pesticide Action Network North America and Natural Resources Defense Council in 2007. That petition...more

California Appellate Court: CDFW Notification Required for Water Diversions

Any plans to “substantially divert” water from a river or stream requires notification to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Court of Appeal found. In reversing a lower court’s decision that favored...more

Release of Personal Information Called ‘Unlawful’ and a ‘Threat to Privacy’ in Appeals Brief

After a federal district court dismissed a case filed against the EPA, thereby upholding the validity of the EPA's public release of personal information about farmers and their families, the American Farm Bureau Federation...more

European Court of Justice Dismisses Case Regarding Confidential Treatment of Information Submitted to EFSA

On June 3, 2015, the General Court of the European Court of Justice issued a ruling in Luxembourg Pamol (Cyprus) Ltd. and Luxembourg Industries Ltd. (Luxembourg) vs. European Commission regarding the publication of...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Approval of Oil Spill Response Plans is Non-Discretionary

On June 11, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (Bureau) approval of oil spill response plans (OSRPs) relating to oil leases in the Beaufort and...more

Preliminary Injunction Arguments Pour Into Litigation Against BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

Since our last update on federal litigation in Wyoming challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands, the flurry of activity continues in advance of the June 23...more

Fish & Game Code Section 1602 Is Unambiguous, Now Requiring More Water Users To Provide “1602 Notification” To “Substantially...

On June 4, 2015, the Court of Appeal ruled that California Fish and Game Code section 1602 (“Section 1602”) unambiguously requires notification to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (“Department”) if an entity or individual...more

New Water Rule Isn't The End of The Story

It appears that Godot has finally made an appearance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their final rule, years in the making, defining "waters of the United States" under the...more

“Clearing” the Waters – U.S. EPA and the Army Corps Finalize “Waters of the United States” Definition

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) issued their highly anticipated final revision to the definition of “waters of the United...more

Environmental Notes - June 2015

In this Issue: - EPA Issues SIP Call to Eliminate SSM Defense - EPA and Corps Define “Waters of The United States” - Frequent Questions: EPCRA 313 - Generators Need to be Vigilant About TCLP Sampling...more

EARL e-News: EPA's Carbon Dioxide Plan Can Proceed - Updates on Environmental, Administrative and Regulatory Law

On June 9th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected two petitions seeking to block EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing electric generating plants....more

Alaska Supreme Court Says Exploration is a Transfer of Interest in State Land, Cannot Be Allowed Without Full Public Notice and...

The Alaska Supreme Court’s recent decision in Nunamta Alukestai v. Pebble Limited Partnership, No. 7011 (Alaska filed May 29, 2015) significantly alters the permitting process for projects within the jurisdiction of the...more

Legal Challenge to EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan Rejected as Premature, Final Rule Sent to OMB for Review

The proposed Clean Power Plan introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in June 2014 has been met with considerable opposition, including a court battle that pitted energy companies and more than twenty...more

Braving the Headwinds Hitting U.S. Wind Energy

The development of offshore wind projects in the U.S. has been a story of high hopes and many setbacks. Thus far, 2015 has perpetuated the same storyline, with major setbacks plaguing one of the major U.S. offshore wind...more

EPA and Corps Define “Waters of The United States”

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have promulgated a final rule defining the scope of federal jurisdiction over wetlands and other “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. Dubbed the “Clean Water Rule” by...more

South Carolina Court Limits CERCLA Remedies

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) allows the federal government to collect funds from or to order a “potentially responsible party” (“PRP”) to clean up contaminated sites. 42...more

EPA and Army Corps Issue Final Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Those currently or potentially subject to Clean Water Act regulation should plan for expanded federal jurisdiction upon implementation of the Clean Water Rule’s broad new definition of “waters of the United...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Bid for Preliminary Review of Clean Power Plan

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed Clean Power Plan, which seeks to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from...more

EPA Issues SIP Call to Eliminate SSM Defense

EPA has issued a final rule that requires 36 states to revise their State Implementation Plans to eliminate a well-known and often-used Clean Air Act defense for excess emissions. While specific elements of the defense...more

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