Environmental Updates

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Legislative Update Report No. 2014-07

In This Issue: - Federal Government - Alberta - British Columbia - Manitoba - New Brunswick - Newfoundland - Northwest Territories - Nova Scotia - Nunavut - Ontario - Prince Edward...more

Climate Change Disclosure - Heads I Win, Tails You Lose?

Arjuna Capital, a sustainable wealth management platform, and As You Sow, an environmental corporate responsibility advocacy group, have been advocating for publicly traded companies to assess and disclose the risks that...more

Court Clarifies "Taking" Of Endangered Species And Highlights What's "Enough" Under CEQA

In Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife, No. B245141 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Mar. 20, 2014), the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision, which found that the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s...more

Natural Resources Committee Discusses Endangered Species Act Reform

Earlier this week, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to discuss Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform. The hearing focused on four bills that seek to require data and spending transparency under the ESA....more

Some CEQA Reminders From The Third District: Urban Decay Requires Actual Mitigation When Identified By EIR As A Significant...

In a lengthy opinion filed February 28, 2014, and ordered partially published on April 1, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Yolo County Superior Court’s judgment denying a CEQA writ petition challenging...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

Second Chance at a Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium Moves Past First Major Obstacle

Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and other supporters of SB 1132 cleared their first major hurdle in their renewed effort to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other forms of well stimulation treatment in...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

Federal Appellate Court Stays Initial Date for Meeting New Ballast Water Discharge Limits – But Only for Canadian Shipowners...

On April 9, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted a stay of the January 1, 2014 deadline for installation of ballast water treatment technology required by the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

What’s the Difference Between ExxonMobil and Shell When It Comes To Climate Change? What’s A Trillion Tons (or Tonnes) Among...

Earlier this week, I posted about ExxonMobil’s shareholder disclosure. The bookend to ExxonMobil’s disclosure is the release of the Trillion Tonne Communique by the Prince of Wale’s Corporate Leaders Group. The Communique...more

EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...more

U.S. Customs And Border Protection Announces Three New Members Of Commercial Targeting And Analysis Center

Participating agencies jointly target commercial imports that threaten health and safety - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced last week that three additional Federal agencies have formally joined the...more

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—Recent Events in the Dominican Power Sector Open the Door for the Development of Power Generation Projects,...

Recent announcements of key projects in the Dominican power sector and actions taken by the government signal that this sector is finally taking meaningful steps aimed at resolving the structural problems that affect it,...more

EPA Asks STB to Resolve Preemption Question

The Administrator of Region IX of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order to address whether locomotive idling rules issued by the South Coast...more

Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing On Advanced Biofuels

On April 8, 2014, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a hearing on "Advanced Biofuels: Creating Jobs and Lower Prices at the Pump." The following witnesses testified at the hearing...more

Court Hears Challenges To EPA’s 2013 RFS Rule

On April 7, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments in Monroe Energy, LLC v. EPA (No. 13-1265). In the case, Monroe Energy, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines, the American...more

EPA Awards Grant to Study the Life Cycle of Nanomaterials

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $5 million, four-year grant to investigators led by Arizona State University to study the life cycle of nanomaterials....more

Federal Agency Approvals Beyond the Scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

In the last month, two separate federal district courts have declined to extend the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (MBTA), to federal agency approvals of projects that plaintiffs alleged could...more

New Rules For Energy Aid: EU Adopts Revised Guidelines For Assessment Of State Aid in The Energy Sector

For the first time, the European Commission has decided on comprehensive rules for the assessment of State aid in the energy sector. The new text adopted on 9 April 2014 will create the framework for the ability of EU Member...more

Federal Court Upholds First Offshore Oil And Gas Lease Sales After Gulf Oil Spill

On March 31, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a memorandum opinion upholding the approval, by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, of the first oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico...more

District Court Holds That The Incidental Take Statement Requirement Under Section 7 Of The Endangered Species Act Does Not Apply...

Last Thursday, a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the incidental take requirements in section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) do not apply to listed plant species. In Center...more

European NGOs Publish Position Paper on the Regulation of Nanomaterials

Earlier this month, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and its European partners published a position paper on the regulation of nanomaterials at a meeting of the European Union (EU) competent authorities....more

California Proposition 65 Caramel Coloring Suits

This January, Consumer Reports, an independent product testing organization, released a report entitled “Caramel Color: The health risk that may be in your soda” detailing its investigation of the presence of...more

Ohio Imposes New Fugitive Emissions Rules on Horizontal Drillers

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has announced new requirements for horizontal drillers aimed at reducing air pollution from so-called “fugitive emissions,” which are generally caused by leaking valves or...more

Clean Edge 2014 Clean Energy Trends Report: Key Trends Emerging from 2013

We saw some key trends emerging and we are proud to be part of the Clean Edge 2014 Clean Energy Trends Report, released last week. The report highlights trends on the rise and provides a comprehensive glance back at 2013....more

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