Environmental Updates

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

OCC & Federal Reserve Report and Proposed Rules - Limitation on Banks Dealing & Investing in Metals and other Physical Commodities

On September 8, 2016, as required by Section 620 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) and the Federal Deposit...more

U.S. EPA Issues Revisions to Hazardous Waste Generator Rule, To Be Finalized in October 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published proposed revisions to Hazardous Waste Generator regulations in September 2015. The public comment for the proposed revisions closed at the end of December 2015 and the...more

[Events] Nossaman's 2016 Northern California Environmental and Land Use Law Update - November 9th - Walnut Creek, CA

Nossaman is hosting its first Environmental and Land Use Law Update in Northern California! This complimentary morning seminar will be comprised of panel discussions on a spectrum of critical federal and state environment...more

Carbon Reduction Reshapes a Regional Electricity Market

Earlier this year, Massachusetts passed legislation that will require the state’s distribution utilities to purchase carbon-free electricity from hydropower and on and offshore wind farms under long-term contracts for up to...more

Post-Aliso Canyon gas storage report

A task force has released its report on the safety of underground natural gas storage, following the Aliso Canyon leak in California. The Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety was formed by Congress and the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal report recommends gas-storage safety changes - OC Register - Oct 18 - A task force commissioned by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety...more

Federal Court Decision Finding EPA has a Non-Discretionary Duty to Evaluate Employment Impacts under the Clean Air Act May Have...

An October 2016 federal court decision confirmed that, as a matter of law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a non-discretionary duty to undertake an ongoing evaluation of job losses that may result from...more

News from Second and State

Weekly Wrap: - One week down, one to go. This was the second to last week scheduled for legislative action in 2016, and both chambers were in Harrisburg for three days of voting session. There was plenty of activity on...more

New Florida Pollution Incident Reporting Rule

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently issued as a final, effective emergency order a new pollution incident public reporting rule: 62-4.161, Florida Administrative Code. In short, the crux of the...more

EPA Opens Nominations For The 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

On October 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has opened nominations for the 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA). Since 1996, these awards have honored companies...more

“Oh The Times . . . They are A-Changing:” EPA & DOJ Follow Through on Worker Endangerment Initiative

On October 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that four Texas companies agreed to plead guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Air Act at oil and chemical processing facilities, and to collectively...more

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Releases Strategic Plan for 2017-2021

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (“CSB”) released its Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 today. The Strategic Plan is the result of 18 months of staff and stakeholder development and review. The plan serves...more

WV District Court: EPA Has A Non-discretionary Duty Under The CAA To Evaluate Economic Losses Resulting From Government Action

On October 17, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia coalgranted summary judgment to Murray Energy Corporation, which sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking declaratory and...more

Wolverine Status Review Reinitiated

The distinct population segment of the North American wolverine (Gulo gulf luscus) has had a long and difficult history with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, things appeared to be changing in 2013, when, after...more

EPA is Extending Its Refrigerant Management Regulations to Non-Ozone Depleting Refrigerants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed and is submitting for publication in the Federal Register an update to its Refrigerant Management Regulations under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to further...more

Massachusetts climate change executive order

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order last month setting a comprehensive approach to climate change. Executive Order No. 569, Establishing An Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth,...more

California DWR Releases Final Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications

On October 18, 2016, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its final modifications to California’s groundwater basin boundaries in response to the emergency regulations adopted by DWR last October. The basin...more

USDA Looks Back On Growth Of Bio-Based Economy And Renewable Energy

On October 4, 2016, Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development, posted a blog item “The Bio-Based Economy and Renewable Energy: USDA’s Record of Success,” reviewing the history...more

Renewable Energy Update - October 2016 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Reaction mixed on proposed California solar-wind resource adequacy scheme - Renewable Energy World - Oct 12 - The power and energy regulatory environment is in a high state of...more

Sustainable Development Update - October 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - San Francisco’s Treasure Island project wins top green rating - Commercial Property Executive - Oct 14 - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded LEED-ND...more

FWS Goes Back to Square One On Listing the Wolverine. It’s Not Going to Be Any Easier This Time Around.

As we noted in this space in April, Judge Dana Christensen vacated the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to withdraw its proposed listing of a distinct population segment of the North American wolverine as threatened under...more

Pan-Canadian carbon pricing approach

All Canadian jurisdictions will have put a price on carbon pollution by 2018, according to a speech earlier this month by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The federal government's "pan-Canadian approach" sets a...more

Court “Un-Laches” Backdoor Defense to Spill Act?

After the NJ Supreme Court Finally Closed the Door on The Statute of Limitations Defense To NJ Spill Act Contribution Claims, Laches Emerges as a Possible Backdoor Defense. The Bergen County Superior Court issued a...more

Agreement Reached over Funding for Lead Abatement in Flint, MI

On September 15, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which included $220 million for lead contamination relief nationwide, of which at least $100 million is expected to be spent in...more

NYC Passes Legislation Increasing Allowed Biodiesel In Heating Oil Blend

On September 28, 2016, the City of New York passed a bill, 47 to three, increasing the amount of biodiesel in the city’s heating oil. Heating oil in New York City currently contains two percent biodiesel, which will increase...more

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