Environmental Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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Eighth Circuit Creates Circuit Split By Holding Jurisdictional Determinations Under The Clean Water Act Constitute "Final Agency...

On April 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that the issuance of a jurisdictional determination (JD) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA)...more

Environmental Notes - April 2015

- In this Issue: - TSCA Reporting: Violations May Never Lapse, But Corroborative Information Is Better Understood - South Carolina Generator Inspection Schedule Increases - Frequent Questions: Form R -...more

EPA Issues Letter Stating It is “Unlikely” to Approve New Outdoor Neonicotinoid Pesticide Uses

On April 2, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a letter to all registrants of nitroguanidine neonicotinoid pesticide products stating that “until the data on pollinator health have been received and...more

British Columbia Provides Model for Massachusetts Carbon Pricing

On Monday, April 13, The Alliance for Business Leadership hosted “Embracing the Future: The Economic Success of British Columbia’s Carbon Pricing Policy” at Mintz Levin’s Boston office. The program outlined the economic,...more

Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions - April 2015

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes an overview of the FAA’s new contract maintenance rules, DOT and FAA notices on flight prohibitions in conflict zones, the latest news on the integration...more

In re Murray Energy - the First Clean Power Plan Donnybrook

Friday morning found us at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, hoping to take in the oral argument before the DC Circuit in the first (of what is certain to be many) challenge to the Clean Power Plan: In re...more

More hydropower relicensure expected

Many U.S. hydropower projects face relicensure by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission within the next 3 years, making hydro project relicensing a hot topic. The FERC is the nation's primary federal regulator of...more

Initial Challenge to Clean Power Plan Receives Rocky Reception

Several states and Murray Energy Corp. (“Murray Energy”), supported by numerous intervenors and amici, presented oral arguments today before the D.C. Circuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed...more

Ontario to Adopt Cap-and-Trade System, Joining Quebec and California Carbon Market

The Ontario government has signed an agreement with Quebec to create a joint cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In its announcement, Ontario has indicated that it will impose a hard ceiling on the...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments April 2015

EAB Reverses Epic Penalty In Elementis Case, But Affirms EPA's "Continuing" TSCA Section 8(e) Interpretation: On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) reversed the...more

Landowners, Developers Win Big In Wetlands Case

Building on a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Eighth Circuit ruled on April 10th that Clean Water Act jurisdictional determinations made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be challenged in a “pre-enforcement”...more

Energy Technology Connections Newsletter: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - April 2015

In This Issue: - Leaders in the News - Innovator Profile - Event Highlights - Washington Update - Energy Navigator - Upcoming Events - Excerpt from Leaders in the News: This month we’re...more

Proposed California Bill Seeks to (Finally) Define “Knowing and Intentional” Element of Proposition 65

On February 23, 2015, Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) introduced legislation that would definitively define the term “knowing and intentional” that is contained in the actual text of Proposition 65 (Prop 65). There has...more

Majority Support for a Carbon Tax?

What are the politics of climate change? A new poll done by Stanford University and Resources for the Future suggests that the public may be more ready to regulate carbon taxthan has previously been thought. When asked if...more

FAQs on California’s Emergency Water Conservation Regulations

In the wake of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Executive Order calling for mandatory water reductions statewide, the State Water Resources Control Board went to work immediately on drafting emergency measures. Since Brown’s order two...more

Tax Day Update: 2015 Inflation Adjustments and Prices for Energy Credits Released by IRS

Just in time for tax day – but 14 days behind the Congressional deadline – the IRS released the statutorily required calculations to determine the value of the Section 45 Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) credit amount in 2015,...more

No Statute of Limitations for Private Contribution Claims Under New Jersey’s Spill Act

Selling a piece of commercial property often requires much negotiation and planning, and generally represents the culmination of a result of a well-reasoned business decision. And at the conclusion of the deal—and depending...more

Competing Proposed Bills in U.S. Congress Look to Reform Outdated Toxic Substances Control Act

Earlier in March, two separate bills were introduced in the United States Senate seeking to update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. The outdated federal legislation was meant to provide the Environmental...more

Non-Settling CERCLA Defendants Beware: Ninth Circuit Provides Lower Courts with Discretion to Allocate Liability Using Equitable...

There is a split of authority on how credits for settlements under the Comprehensive Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) are allocated to non-settlors. Some courts have applied the proportionate share...more

Environmental Indemnities

It is not often that one discovers that a senior housing facility was once an oil exploration complex or the site of a former dry cleaner but it does happen, and while your company may get comfortable with the acquisition and...more

Winners Beware – Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Discretion To Drastically Reduce Successful CEQA Plaintiff’s Fees In...

In an opinion filed March 18 and belatedly ordered published on April 13, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s discretion to award only $19,176 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure §...more

Suit by “Interested,” Neighboring Municipalities to Enforce SEQRA Requirements Does Not “Impose or Implement” a Land Use...

On March 27, 2015, the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants in the consolidated action Bernstein v. Wesley Hills, 08-CV-156; 12-CV-8856 (KMK), (the “Wesley Hills” Action). The...more

Public Comment Period on PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Oil and Gas Rulemaking Closes May 19

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) rulemaking regarding surface activities for oil and gas wells, Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites (Chapters 78 and 78a),...more

Ninth Circuit Widens Judges’ Discretion to Allocate CERCLA Contribution Damages

Trial court may select the method of accounting for prior settlement in allocating response costs among liable parties, but claims to recover settlement payments are limited to costs consistent with the National Contingency...more

Letter Urges Oil & Gas Wastewater Well Shut-Ins due to Risk of Groundwater Contamination; Regulators Stick to Rulemaking

On March 20, Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) wrote a letter to Governor Jerry Brown requesting that his administration immediately shut down approximately 2,500 underground injection wells. The letter was signed by...more

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