Environmental Administrative Agency Elections & Politics

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OMB Releases Fall 2015 Regulatory Agenda

Earlier today, the White House Office of Management and Budget released its semi-annual Unified Regulatory Agenda and Regulatory Plan for Fall 2015, covering 59 Federal departments, agencies, and commissions. Entries are...more

Natural Resource Conservation Subject of White House Directive to Agencies

A recently released Presidential Memorandum will likely spur new policies related to development and natural resources, possibly impacting public agencies, developers and the like. “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources...more

To Mitigate or Not to Mitigate: No Longer a Question for Environmental Reviews?

Even the casual college football observer has probably seen by now the wild final play of the Duke-Miami game on October 31. After the game ended, it was determined that Miami literally stole the win as a result of referee...more

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to Hold Listening Sessions under Executive Order 562

In April, we reported on Governor Baker’s issuance of Executive Order 562, a very broad Order that prohibits any Massachusetts agency from issuing new regulations for one year, unless certain conditions are met. In order to...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - 15 states sue to block enforcement of Obama administration climate change rules: Bloomberg - Aug 13: Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia – but not including California - asked...more

Clean Power Plan Finalized by Obama Administration and EPA — What's Next?

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new set of final regulations aimed at reducing carbon output from power plants. The sweeping new Clean Power Plan (CPP) sets limits...more

Supreme Court Update: Michigan V. EPA (14-47) And Arizona State Legislature V. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm'n (13-1314)

The last day of school is always anticlimactic, with finals done and yearbooks already signed. That may have described the atmosphere on First Street yesterday, but make no mistake: The Court ended October Term 2014 term with...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Review of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 Considered in Markup by the House Energy and Commerce Committee

The House Energy and Commerce Committee convened a markup session on June 2 and 3, 2015, to consider a slightly revised version of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 as H.R. 2576. As reported in our June 3, 2015, memorandum,...more

Clean Water Act: New Rule Significantly Expands Reach of Federal Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) finalized the long-anticipated Clean Water Rule. The Rule defines the term “waters of the United States” as used by...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Analysis of Substitute Version of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

A new version of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was considered for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on April 28, 2015. ...more

Tough Mandatory Water Restrictions of up to 36 Percent Retained in Draft Emergency Drought Regulation for California

State Water Resources Control Board Cites Need to Avoid Potential “Catastrophic Impacts” - The State Water Resources Control Board released revisions to its draft emergency regulations to restrict overall potable urban...more

Massachusetts Governor Baker Issues Order Dramatically Curtailing Agency Regulatory Authority

As we reported in our last issue, shortly after incoming Governor Charlie Baker was sworn in earlier this year, his Secretary of Administration and Finance issued a memo imposing a temporary three-month freeze on new state...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Toxic Substances Control Act - Reform at Last? (4/15)

Efforts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., have been underway for several years, but to date, none have succeeded in modifying how this often criticized law regulates chemicals in...more

California Governor Orders 25% Cut in Water Use—What It Means for Businesses

California is experiencing a drought of epic proportions. To meet this challenge, on April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 to usher in an aggressive statewide plan for reducing water...more

What the Drought Emergency Declaration Means for Your Business

By Executive Order B-29-15, signed on April 1, 2015, Governor Brown declared a state of drought emergency “to exist throughout the State of California ….” Among other things, the recitals state: WHEREAS a distinct...more

California Water Suppliers Facing Historic Mandatory Restrictions on Water Usage

Governor’s Goal: 25 Percent Statewide Water Savings - For the first time in California’s history, urban water suppliers will soon be required to comply with new mandatory restrictions aimed at achieving a statewide 25...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Analysis of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act: Significant Changes Made to...

The Senate over the past several years has considered a number of legislative texts to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These include the Safer Chemicals Act, several versions of which were introduced by Senator...more

Self Righteousness Still Does Not Help the Environmentalists’ Cause

Fully five years ago, I noted that the cavalier treatment by government officials of FOIA requests made by opponents of government policy revealed a degree of self-righteousness that was both offensive and self-defeating –...more

House Committee Hearing Debates "GMO" Labeling Bill

On December 10, 2014, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on Examining FDA's Role in the Regulation of Genetically Modified Food Ingredients. The witnesses included Michael Landa, Director...more

OMB Releases Fall 2014 Regulatory Agenda

The White House Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has released its semi-annual Unified Regulatory Agenda and Regulatory Plan for Fall 2014, covering more than 60 Federal...more

EPA Proposes Stricter Ozone NAAQS

On November 25, 2014, EPA proposed to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. The rule is available online and should be published soon in the Federal Register....more

TSCA Reform a Viable Contender For Serious Legislative Attention Next Year

I have been asked to say a few words about 2015 legislative expectations regarding environmental laws, particularly and most likely with respect to reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In my view, TSCA reform is...more

Wotus: Scotus, Potus . . . Lotus?

It was inevitable I suppose. In a town where every policy discussion reaffirms the lampooning it receives in HBO’s “Veep,” it was only a matter of time until the EPA/Army Corps’ proposed rule on the scope of jurisdiction...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: August 2014 #2

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - With Congress preparing to return to Washington, efforts are underway to fill the two-week session with negotiations on a continuing resolution and votes on several pre-election issue...more

California Coastal Commission Further Solidifies Enforcement Powers

An informal Attorney General advice letter and recent legislation attempt to clarify the Coastal Commission’s powers in carrying out its enforcement authority. The extent of the California Coastal Commission’s legal...more

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