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Fifth Circuit Decision in Citgo Case May Place Limits on Criminal Liability Under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed convictions of CITGO Petroleum Corporation and CITGO Refining and Chemical Company, L.P. (collectively "Citgo"), and in so doing placed potentially...more

Fifth Circuit Holds that Migratory Bird Treaty Act Does Not Apply to Incidental Takes - What It Means for Energy Developers

On September 4, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the misdemeanor convictions of Citgo Petroleum Corporation and Citgo Refining and Chemicals Company, L.P. (collectively Citgo) for “taking” migratory birds in...more

Who Can Sue Polluters? New Texas Law HB 1794 Stirs Debate

A perspective on new Texas legislation HB 1794 by Gerald Pels one of the leaders of the Texas environmental legal community for over 30 years....more

Creative Lawyering In RCRA Criminal Action Fails to Find Favor with the Ninth Circuit

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the federal law that regulates management of hazardous waste, is complicated and compliance can be tricky... but not impossible. Our experience is that good faith efforts to comply...more

A Permit System May Finally Arrive for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act - New Opportunities and Responsibilities

For years, Federal Courts have held that individuals can be held criminally liable under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) for the death of birds regardless of whether they intended to harm them. While several courts have...more

Strengthening of enforcement powers under the environmental permitting regime and tackling waste crime - what changes are...

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs ("Defra") and the Welsh Government are currently consulting on strengthening the powers of the regulators in respect of those facilities which operate under environmental...more

State Water Resources Control Board Gets New Tools to Fight Fraud on Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund

Senate Bill No. 445 ("SB 445"), signed into law by California Governor Brown late last year, makes several significant changes to the Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Trust Fund Act of 1989 ("The Fund Act"). The...more

SHE Matters - Winter 2014/2015

In This Issue: - Fee For Intervention – Is It Set To Stay? - How To Protect Brand Reputation And Sales From The Risks Associated With A Product Recall - Review Of The Proposed Changes In The Sentencing Of Health...more

Youngstown, Ohio, Contractor Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for Wastewater Dumping Scheme

We previously reported on the federal criminal and State of Ohio enforcement actions arising from the release of tens of thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing waste into a Youngstown, Ohio, area tributary by Hard Rock...more

Fracking Contractor Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for Clean Water Act Violation

A federal court in Ohio has handed down a 28-month prison sentence and imposed a $25,000 fine for dumping fracking waste in violation of the Clean Water Act....more

Corporate Criminal Liability: Legal Causation and the Application of Absolute Vicarious Liability in the XTO Energy Prosecution

In this high-profile criminal prosecution of XTO Energy by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the scope of corporate criminal liability for the actions of third parties is likely to take center stage later this year...more

What Is A Bird Worth To A Regulator?

What is a wild bird worth? Does it matter whether it is a Bald or Golden Eagle, of which here are few, or ducks and pelicans, of which there are enough (as least the ducks) so that hunters may shoot them for dinner. Does it...more

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Issues Rule Extending Terms of Permits for Incidental Eagle Take to Thirty-Years

Timing of Rule’s Publication is Another Indication of Renewed Focus on Avian Compliance Risk at Wind Farms - Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) published a final rule extending the maximum term for...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Imposes First-Ever Criminal Penalties For Bird Deaths Caused By Wind Projects

The first criminal case ever prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) against a wind energy company for bird deaths resulted recently in Duke Energy Renewables (Duke Energy) reaching a settlement with the U.S....more

For the First Time, U.S. Extends MBTA Enforcement to Renewables

On November 22, 2013, the Department of Justice announced its first prosecution of a wind farm operation for violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), a criminal statute governing take of over 1000 species of birds....more

The Criminal Side of Fracking: Individuals and Companies Face State and Federal Criminal Charges related to Handling and Disposal...

On Monday, October 28, 2013, the Clean Water Action national environmental organization (“CWA”) filed a federal civil lawsuit against Waste Treatment Corporation for the alleged illegal disposal of hundreds of thousands of...more

Adapting to a New Era of Strict Criminal Liability Enforcement under Pennsylvania’s Environmental Laws

Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s recent actions concerning the application of strict liability criminal offenses under Pennsylvania’s environmental laws present a new challenge for the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania....more

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Concerns Extend to Solar Plants

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) has a famously broad scope, outlawing the taking of over 1000 species of birds, ranging from hummingbirds to robins and crows. It is also a criminal statute, although most violations are...more

The New 2013 Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance: Certainty for the Industry or Dust in the Wind?

The new Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS”) presents an interesting question for wind project developers and operators – does it really provide greater certainty and reduce...more

NH Supreme Court Says Unlawful Operation Of Solid Waste Facility Or Septic System Can Result In Criminal Penalties

On March 20, 2013, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued a decision in State v. Guay, holding that the defendant’s unlawful operation of a solid waste facility or septic system can result not just in civil fines, but also in...more

Federal Charges Filed for Ohio Drilling Waste Release; Ohio Legislation Proposes Increased Penalties

Early last week, we covered the response of Ohio regulators to an alleged release of hydraulic fracturing waste into a Youngstown, Ohio area tributary by Hard Rock Excavating (Hard Rock), an affiliate of oil and gas player...more

Discharge of Drilling Waste in Ohio Triggers Civil and Criminal Enforcement Actions; Heightens Scrutiny of State Regulatory...

A release of approximately 40,000 gallons of oil and gas operations waste into a Youngstown, Ohio area storm drain flowing into the Mahoning River is igniting a call for tighter regulatory oversight and more transparent...more

EPA’s 2012 Enforcement Results – What Do They Mean?

Shortly before the end of the year, EPA released its annual review of its civil and criminal enforcement results for the Fiscal Year 2012....more

Generator of Fraudulent Renewable Fuel Credits Found Guilty in Federal Court

In the first ever criminal prosecution associated with fraudulently generating renewable fuel credits known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), on June 25, 2012, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of...more

McAfee & Taft RegLINC - April 2012: Refinery sentenced to pay largest criminal air pollution fine in Louisiana history by Heidi...

After pleading guilty to felony violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and obstruction of justice in October 2011, Pelican Refining Company LLC, a Texas oil company operating in Lake Charles, LA, was sentenced to a $10 million...more

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