Environmental Updates

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Carbon Utilization Legislation Introduced In The Senate

On May 11, 2015, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced S. 1282 -- a bill to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to require the Secretary of Energy to consider the objective of improving the...more

Part 3 Of Biofuels Digest Series On TSCA And The Bioeconomy

Part 3 of Biofuels Digest's "Thought Leadership" series highlighting some of the ways the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) applies to biobased products was published May 18, 2015. Summaries of the first two "TSCA and the...more

Progress Toward Renewable Fuel Standard Blending Mandates

The White House is reviewing EPA's proposed rules to set the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements. The proposals are not currently publicly available, but EPA has committed to propose them by June...more

California's Office of Planning and Research Releases Draft Technical Advisory for Formal Native American Consultations Under AB...

Comments on the Draft Advisory due by June 1 - The Office of Planning and Research released a Draft Advisory earlier this month entitled “Discussion Draft Technical Advisory: AB 52 and Tribal Cultural Resources in CEQA”...more

Wildlife Agencies Propose Regulatory Changes to Species-Listing Process Under Endangered Species Act

On May 18, 2015, the federal agencies that oversee the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service proposed significant changes to the process by which...more

EPA Issues SNURs For Several Biobased Chemicals

On May 8, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule for 25 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN), including several biobased chemical substances. The...more

Bank Of America Announces $600 Million Green Bond

On May 14, 2015, Bank of America (BoA) announced that it has issued a $600 million bond to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. This is the second time that BoA has offered green energy bonds. In 2013, BoA...more

Role Of Biomass Questioned For Clean Power Plan

In a May 8, 2015, letter, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) requested that EPA reconsider its decision to treat biomass as having zero emissions under the proposed Clean Power Plan (Plan). The Senators...more

Ending Rumors of Audit Policy’s Demise, EPA Rolls Out Web-based Disclosure System

Ending years of trade press speculation that budget constraints might force it to scuttle self-disclosure policies, EPA announced May 20 that it intends to retain the policies and handle disclosures via a new, web-based...more

EPA Conditionally Registers Nanosilver Pesticide Product

On May 19, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it issued a conditional registration for a nanosilver-containing antimicrobial pesticide product named “NSPW-L30SS,” or “Nanosilva.” This is the...more

EPA Criticized for Persecution of 9/11 Dust Whistleblower

A judge from the U.S. Department of Labor rebuked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its concealment of evidence in a case from several years ago against a senior chemist who was wrongfully terminated. The chemist,...more

Frack 2.0: Refracing Could Enable a Second Wave of Production Growth in the Bakken and Eagle Ford

Operators will likely refrac more oil and gas wells this year and further accelerate such activity in 2016. The reason is simple: substantial bang for CAPEX bucks. A recent study by engineers from SPE and Baker Hughes...more

MassDEP Has A Lot of Discretion in Implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act

Unsatisfied with the pace of the administration’s implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Conservation Law Foundation sued the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, seeking a court order...more

PRP in CERCLA Enforcement Action Saves Millions of Dollars with Successful Divisibility Defense

Action Item: On March 15, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in United States v. NCR Corp., No. 10-C-910 (E.D. Wis. May 15, 2015), held that a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) at...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Review of Representative Shimkus' Second Discussion Draft of TSCA Reform Legislation

On May 12, 2015, Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, released a new (second) draft of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (TMA2 DD). In April,...more

Impact of California Appellate Decision on Proposition 65 Actions Unclear

On April 28, 2015, the Environmental Law Foundation (“ELF”) filed a petition in the California Supreme Court for review of the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Environmental Law Foundation v. Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp., et...more

Africa Energy Update

The latest news on legal and regulatory developments in Africa's energy sector with perspectives from our offices in New York, Washington and London. This third Africa energy update focuses on North Africa, Africa's most...more

China Proposes New Restriction of Hazardous Substance (“RoHS”) Requirements for Electronics Manufacturers

Do you manufacture electrical and electronic products, parts or components? Do you manage manufacturing design for such products? Do you oversee Chinese suppliers manufacturing such products? If so, you need to follow...more

California Once Again Leads Subnational Climate Change Agenda

Yesterday, California Governor Brown took another step down the road of long-term climate change regulation. Along with 11 other signatories, he signed a first-of-its-kind agreement with leaders from other international...more

Industry and Environmental Groups Make Pitch to Water Board Regarding Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) held a Public Workshop regarding the proposed Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring (“Model Criteria”). In this meeting, the Water...more

Claims about Biodegradable Plastics Breakdown Under FTC Scrutiny: Marketers Beware!

In the recent administrative proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against ECM Biofilms, Inc. (ECM), the FTC’s presiding chief administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled that the plastics additive manufacturer ECM...more

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations...more

Court at the Fox River Site Opens Door to Superfund Divisibility

On May 19, a district court ruled that a company had established divisibility for its liability at a major downstream segment of the Fox River mega-site in Wisconsin, capping its liability for that segment at 28%. This same...more

Minnesota Session Ends With Governor Threatening Veto

The Minnesota legislature concluded its business last evening with Governor Mark Dayton threatening to veto a $17 billion public education funding bill – a threat he carried through with earlier today. The governor issued the...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Decision in Civil Rights Case in Review of California SIP

On May 8, 2015, in El Comite Para El Bienestar De Earlimart v. EPA, a Panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review filed by several groups that the court describes as “community...more

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