Environmental Updates

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

California’s Precondemnation Right of Entry Statutes Upheld — With a Slight Judicial Tweak

For the last two-plus years, we have been waiting for guidance from the California Supreme Court on whether public agencies could utilize the statutory “right of entry” procedure to gain access to private property to conduct...more

Three Strikes and Mingo Logan Is Out: The D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA Withdrawal of Approval of Mountaintop Removal Disposal Sites

In 2013, the D.C. Circuit affirmed EPA’s authority to withdrawal approval of mountaintop mining disposal sites, even after the Army Corps has issued a Section 404 permit. In 2014, the District Court rejected Mingo Logan’s...more

US FWS Announces Record of Decision Streamlining Wind Energy Permitting for the Upper Great Plains

On July 7, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). This is the final step in a process...more

Sikh Temple files suit after Oyster Bay, NY ordered it to stop work and then required SEQRA review

Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center, Inc. (the “Temple”), on June 29, 2016 in the Eastern District of New York, sued the Town of Oyster Bay, New York, the Town Board, and several Town Officials (together, the “Defendants”) after...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, July 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

The Dusky Gopher Frog Causes Big Problems for Industrial and Commercial Development in Parts of St. Tammany Parish

In 2010, under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“the FWS”) designated 6,477 acres in Mississippi and Louisiana as “critical habitat” for the Rana sevosa or the dusky gopher...more

Zika Transmission in New York, and Now in Florida - Some Legal Thoughts

In eight years of climate change blogging we think we have uniformly been able to steer clear of the prurient and the provocative, the lewd and the lascivious. But then came word last Friday from New York that the New York...more

How Will Brexit Impact Environmental and Energy Law?

Following the recent UK referendum result, attention is now turning to the legal implications for specific policy areas. While the overwhelming majority of the UK’s environmental legislation is derived from EU...more

European Chemical Agency Publishes Call for Evidence on the Use of Formaldehyde Releasers

On July 6, 2016, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issued a call for evidence from relevant stakeholders to gather information on the uses of formaldehyde releasers. ECHA intends to issue a report to inform the...more

Sustainable Development Update - July 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - Net-zero energy Brock Environmental Center in Virginia turns rainwater into drinking water - Inhabitat - Jul 14 - A new building in Virginia Beach is raising the bar for...more

A double defeat for EPA on regional haze regulations

On Friday, July 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) a stinging double defeat on its partial disapproval of Texas’ regional haze rule (the...more

2016 Chemical Data Reporting – New TSCA Requirements Apply for Confidential Business Information Claims

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (the Act). Passed with significant bipartisan support, the Act is the first major update to a federal...more

Simply the Pest Management Regulatory Agency… and its Duty to Initiate Special Reviews

In Environmental Interest Groups Challenge Registrations of Neonicotinoid Products in Federal Court, we discussed a recent judicial review initiated by the David Suzuki Foundation and others with respect to conditional...more

District Court Declines to Rule on Jurisdictional Issues in Neonicotinoid Case until Summary Judgment

In two recent orders issued in the neonicotinoid seed treatment case Anderson v. McCarthy, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California declined to take immediate action in response to a motion by the U.S....more

Regulated Parties – 2, Regulators – 0

The United States Supreme Court has handed regulated parties their second win in four years concerning when they can take EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to court over wetlands permitting issues. In 2012, the...more

EPCRA Section 313 Reporting: Frequent Questions

This is the second installment of frequently asked questions regarding Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning with Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). As noted in our first...more

Corps of Engineers Issues Proposal on Nationwide Permits

In early June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) proposed to reissue its nationwide permits (“NWPs”) for certain wetland impacts. The proposed changes present some interesting issues and new opportunities for...more

Congress Finds the Formula to Reform Chemical Regulation

The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United States. Since its inception in 1976, TSCA has not been updated...more

Mercury Rule Moves Forward

The federal lawsuit filed by twenty-three states challenging EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) is in the 8th inning, and things are not looking good for the challengers. Some background is appropriate....more

Landmark Overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act

EPA Issues First Year Implementation Plan - On June 22, 2016, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law. This law amends the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and is the first...more

California Unveils Its First Green Chemistry Regulations for Children’s Foam-Padded Sleeping Products with Fire Retardants

Following up on the breakthrough amendments to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), California has reasserted its intention to proceed with its Green Chemistry Initiative to require substitution of safer chemicals...more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

DC Court Confirms EPA May Reverse Its Position On Permit Issuance

In the latest installment in this long-running dispute, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit today, in Mingo Logan Coal Company v. EPA, ruled, in a 2 to 1 decision, that EPA satisfied its duties under the Clean Water...more

D.C. Circuit Holds Informational Standing Nonexistent Prior to 12-Month Finding

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the dismissal of an environmental organization’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) claim, concluding that the organization lacked standing...more

EPA Issues Stop-Sale Order to PuriCore, Inc.

On July 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that PuriCore Inc. (PuriCore), paid a $550,000 penalty for the unauthorized distribution of two of its pesticide products, ProduceFresh and...more

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