Environmental Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Mark Your Calendars: BPA Prop 65 Warnings Required as of May 11, 2016; Styrene Also Added to the Prop 65 List

Earlier this month, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued a Notice of Emergency Action to allow temporary use of a standard point-of-sale warning message for bisphenol A (“BPA”)...more

Attention Home Improvement Contractors: CA Bill Singles Out Solar Contractors

California Assembly Bill 2699 (Gonzalez) is a bill to watch if you are a home improvement contractor that solarinstalls solar energy systems or, for that matter, a contractor in California. AB 2699 would, among other things,...more

North Carolina Rejects Third-Party Sales of Solar-Generated Electricity

The North Carolina Utilities Commission recently ruled that third-party sales of solar-generated electricity violate state law. The Commission rejected a test case brought by an advocacy group seeking to legitimize such...more

Stanford declines to divest fossil fuels

Should university endowments be invested in fossil fuel companies? Or should they divest such holdings? Universities across the U.S. are considering these questions....more

Environmental and Energy and Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Do You Operate a Public Water Supply? Why You Need to Know...

Drinking water quality and water contamination are now high-profile topics of concern, with the discovery of unexpected contaminants in "public" water supplies across the country. Providers of "public water" are obligated to...more

Proposition 65: OEHHA Lists Styrene under Prop 65 and Proposes NSRL

On April 22, 2016, California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued a final notice listing styrene as known to the state to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking...more

EPA Methane Rules Are Coming

“Remember, I can do anything to anybody”, deranged and murderous Roman emperor Caligula to his grandmother (Julia, widow of Tiberius and herself no stranger to things done to other people as and when they pleased)....more

KLM Uses Neste Renewable Jet Fuels For Oslo To Amsterdam Flights

On April 18, 2016, Neste, BRAG member, announced that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be using a fuel blend containing Neste Renewable Jet Fuel for a series of flights from Oslo to Amsterdam....more

EPA Can Withold Certain Wastewater Data from the Public

On March 29, 2016, a federal judge ruled that the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) exemption for “confidential business information” (“CBI”) can cover wastewater discharge information collected by the United States...more

Hazardous Waste: New Corrosivity Test Denied, But the Fight is Not Over

EPA has tentatively denied a petition to expand the test for the hazardous waste characteristic of corrosivity to cover more wastes. In so doing, however, EPA left the door open to reconsider the decision based on public...more

Global Energy Game Changers

The global energy sector is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Advanced technologies, distributed networks and new regulations in nearly every subsector have strangled yesterday's business models. Foundational elements...more

Update on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Late last month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) submitted briefs to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in support of its Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) rule. The agency’s...more

Dialogue on Carbon Pricing and the World Bank Spring Meetings with Citizens Climate Lobby at S&W

On April 14, S&W hosted a stakeholder dialogue sponsored by the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), Partnership for Change and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum as a part of the ancillary discussions surrounding the spring International...more

Feds Spawn New Rules and Policies for Protected Species Habitat and Mitigation

Federal agencies charged under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) with species protection have recently hatched revisions to regulations and policies that change substantially the determination and protection of habitat for...more

Registration Now Open for 2016 U.S.-EU: Bridging NanoEHS Research Efforts Joint Workshop

Registration is now open for the June 6-7, 2016, U.S.-European Union (EU) “Bridging NanoEHS Research Efforts” joint workshop. The workshop will bring together the U.S.-EU Communities of Research (COR), which serve as a...more

Climate change Regulation Starts to Take Shape in Washington State

In 2015, the Washington Legislature failed to act on Governor Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Since then, all branches of Washington State government, as...more

Changing the ESA Listing Petition Process? Not as Much as You Might Think.

On April 21, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, “Service”) announced revisions to their proposed modifications to the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) petition...more

EPA Enforcement Initiatives Renew and Expand Industrial Target Priorities

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...more

B.C. Proposes to Significantly Broaden Requirements for Spill Reporting and Response

The British Columbia government is seeking further input on its proposed new regime for spill reporting, preparedness and response through the release of an intentions paper on April 5, 2016 and an open comment period until...more

OSHA Enforcement in the Final Year of the Obama Administration

Although the Obama Administration is well into its last year, it is signaling no let-up in its aggressive environmental and occupational safety and health enforcement agendas. Indeed, continuation of or even more stringent...more

Renewable Alert Letter 25: Introduction of Listed Renewable Energy Funds

Procedures began in April 2016 for the long awaited listing of the first infrastructure fund on the Tokyo Stock Exchange targeted at investments in renewable energy plants and other infrastructure facilities. Among the...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Supreme Court Set To Hear Important CEQA Subsequent Review Case

On May 4, 2016, at 9 a.m. in its San Francisco courtroom, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in yet another of the many significant CEQA cases it has tackled in recent years, this one presenting critically...more

Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission Approves Oil and Gas Rulemaking

The purpose of the rulemaking is to modify and update existing requirements related to surface activities associated with the development of conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells....more

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