General Business Environmental

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Brother Can You Spare Some (Compliance) Advice?

Usually I have Houston professional sports teams to hold high as example of true bone headedness around compliance issues. However, as my beloved Houston Astros took the World Series Champions, KC Royals, to the 7th inning of...more

Another Season of Change in North Carolina Environmental Law - Part II

As discussed in Part I of our environmental legislative update published on November 12, 2015, the 2015 North Carolina legislative session resulted in a great deal of change for the state’s environmental programs....more

China Regulatory Enforcement Quarterly - Q3 2015

On August 12, a series of explosions in the northern port-city of Tianjin killed over one hundred people and injured hundreds of others. The explosions were allegedly caused by hazardous chemical materials in shipping...more

New Ozone Standard: Better Than it Could Have Been, But Creates Uncertainty for Industry

EPA has issued a final rule tightening the primary ozone national ambient air quality standard (“NAAQS”) down to 70 ppb from the 75 ppb limit established in 2008. The new NAAQS takes effect on December 28, 2015 (despite the...more

New California Energy Use Disclosure Program for Commercial and Multifamily Buildings Approved

Current Disclosure Requirements for Building Owners and Tenants Repealed - A complicated energy reporting requirement for owners and tenants of commercial and multifamily buildings is ending under a new law that takes...more

Laminate Flooring and Chinese Drywall: Where Are We Now?

On March 1, 2015, television news magazine “60 Minutes” aired a report concluding that Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contained and “off-gassed” formaldehyde at levels exceeding health and...more

DONG Energy proposes Massachusetts offshore wind farm

A subsidiary of Danish energy company DONG Energy has proposed an offshore wind development to be located in federal waters off the Massachusetts coast. The "Bay State Wind" project would be a utility scale offshore wind...more

Compliance with the Clean Air Act Increasingly Unlikely to Protect Companies from Nuisance Suits

A recent decision out of the Sixth Circuit found that the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) does not preempt common law claims brought against an emitter based on the law of the state in which the emitter operates. This decision, Merrick...more

US auctions NJ offshore wind sites

The U.S. Department of the Interior has auctioned the rights to lease nearly 344,000 acres offshore New Jersey for potential offshore wind energy development. Under federal law, the Department of the Interior's Bureau...more

CERCLA Update: Court Reverses Divisibility Ruling

Earlier this year, we reported on a case that seemed to breathe new life into the divisibility defense under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).  Under CERCLA, a party that...more

Renewable Energy and Climate Change Update

International negotiations on climate change have been ramping up. It is looking increasingly likely that a new global treaty on climate change will be concluded by the end of the year in Paris. Based on the current state...more

Environmental Notes - October 2015

In a significant setback for the Obama Administration, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has temporarily blocked implementation of the Clean Water Rule issued jointly by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...more

Waste on land: a warning for landowners

Fly-tipping continues to cause problems for businesses, governments and communities. Defra recently assessed the number of fly-tipping incidents during 2014-2015 at around 900,000 in England alone.1 It comes as a surprise to...more

TSCA 101 for Importers: Good Faith is No Defense to Faulty Compliance Certification

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulates the manufacture, use, disposal, and import of chemical substances in the United States. By defining the term “manufacture” to include the term “import,” TSCA places the...more

EPA Proposes Revisions to Hazardous Waste Import-Export Rules

On October 19, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed significant modifications to rules governing the export and import of hazardous waste. The proposal would affect transboundary shipments...more

Third Circuit Holds That Terms of Insurance Policy Renewal 'Must be the Same or Nearly the Same as the Initial Contract'

Recently, in a case involving the interpretation of a Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy (the “Policy”), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that “for a contract to be considered a renewal, it...more

Changes in Environmental Due Diligence in Commercial Real Estate Prevent Toxic Investments

Financial due diligence in a commercial real estate purchase is a necessity, but equally important to purchasers and lenders is environmental due diligence. Many properties may have environmental issues from prior use, and...more

Focus on Government: Canadian Federal Election 2015

With polls now closed and the longest federal campaign in recent Canadian political history officially over, a Liberal government is the new reality for Canada. In winning the election, the Liberals become the first...more

Energy Insights: An Update from the Third Quarter of 2015

In this edition of Seyfarth Shaw’s Energy Insights Newsletter our Energy and Clean Technologies team covers important developments in Q3 2015 for the energy industry including 1) the latest initiatives from the Environmental...more

Compliance at the Tipping Point, Part V – Protection Afforded From a Compliance Program

Today, I wrap up my series on why I think compliance is at the Tipping Point. However as it is a Friday in October, I continue my tribute to the Man in the Shadows, producer Val Lewton, whose films for RKO had some of the...more

EPA Issues New Residual Risk and Technology Rule for Petroleum Refineries

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) promulgated its final Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review (“RTR”) and New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) rule...more

Solving the Chicken and the Egg Problem: Increasing Natural Gas Demand and Building Pipeline

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush recently laid out his vision for America’s energy future. Not coincidentally, Mr. Bush made this announcement in the heart of the Marcellus shale region. In the last decade, natural gas...more

Compliance at the Tipping Point, Part III – The VW Emissions-Testing Scandal

I continue my series on why I believe that compliance is at the ‘Tipping Point’ with a discussion of the Volkswagen (VW) emissions-testing scandal and its effect on the greater compliance world. Myself and many other...more

House Passes Legislation Despite Chaos

Amid a House in chaos as a result of a Republican leadership vacuum, the U.S. House of Representatives managed to pass legislation (H.R. 702) last Friday to lift a 40-year ban on exports of domestic crude oil. Although 26...more

New California Laws Will Ease Groundwater Right Battles, Yet Encourage More Litigation

On October 9, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two bills aimed at making groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. The new laws—companion bills AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226 (Pavley)—streamline...more

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