Environmental General Business

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Measures to improve energy performance of non-domestic buildings: Scottish implementation timetable announced

Following recent consultation, the Scottish Government has confirmed the timetable for the publication and implementation of regulations to be made under section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009....more

Climate Change Adaptation: Massachusetts Releases New Policies to Address

In one of our prior posts, we reported on efforts by Boston and New York City, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, to undertake comprehensive climate change preparedness planning to review the vulnerabilities of each city’s built...more

Fourth Circuit Continues Trend toward Narrowing Scope of CERCLA Arranger Liability

Action Item: With federal courts moving toward limiting arranger liability under CERCLA, companies that sell new or used products containing hazardous substances should heed the guidance of those courts and take certain...more

USA Synthetic Fuel Corporation Files Bankruptcy; Will Pursue A Sale

On March 17, 2015, following the lead of Quicksilver Resources Inc., USA Synthetic Fuel Corporation filed its own voluntary chapter 11 case in Delaware. The case is docketed as case no. 15-10599, and has been assigned to...more

Expert Testimony May Be Required To Establish CERCLA Innocent Landowner Defense

On January 20, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in Coppola v. Smith, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5127, addressed the application of CERCLA’s innocent landowner defense against a somewhat...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Nothing to report STATUS OF PREVIOUSLY REPORTED RULES COMPLIANCE DEADLINES For more information, see our mobile-friendly ENViromation Center, an online...more

EPA Approves New Refrigerant Alternatives

On March 2, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a final rule expanding the number of refrigerants approved for use in a variety of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment as compliant with the...more

California Continues Hazardous Waste Enforcement Campaign Against Retailers With Two New Multi-Million Dollar Settlements

The first quarter of 2015 brought two significant settlements against retailers for alleged violations of California’s hazardous waste laws. The settlements are the latest in a string of similar California enforcement...more

California Voters Left Holding the Bag in the Plastic Bag Ban Battle

The crown for the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags is up for grabs again. Late last year, the California legislature passed, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law, SB 270 — making California the first state to ban...more

CDP Announces Climate Change Reporting Changes for 2015

CDP, an international nonprofit organization that provides a global system for measuring, reporting and managing vital environmental information, is issuing requests to thousands of companies this month, asking them to report...more

How Does Contamination Impact “Fair Market Value”?

As California continues to expand and improve its infrastructure, public agencies are more frequently running into contaminated property. A frequent question for eminent domain attorneys is: “how does contamination impact...more

CFTC Reopens Comment Period for Position Limits Proposals

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has re-opened the comment period on (1) its proposed rules establishing position limits on certain exempt and agricultural commodities and (2) its proposed amendments to its...more

Insurance is Big in Texas: In Deepwater Horizon Case, Texas Stretches a Policy’s Four Corners to Include Other Contracts

Last month, in In re Deepwater Horizon, Relator, the Supreme Court of Texas applied a fundamental principle of insurance law to a case with enormous financial implications. The owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had...more

FedEx Asks Federal Appeals Court to Block California Enforcement Case Alleging Mismanagement of Damaged Products

On February 23, 2015, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“9th Circuit”), seeking to block an enforcement action brought by the State of California...more

EPA Announces It Will Release New Guidelines on Vehicle MPG Ratings

The EPA announced, on February 23, 2015, that it will release new guidelines for vehicle fuel economy testing. The new guidelines will apply next year and will address how vehicles should be prepared and broken in before fuel...more

New Proposed Requirements for Prop 65 Warnings Create Potentially Significant Implications for Businesses Across the Country

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently sent out a notice regarding proposed rulemaking to repeal the existing regulations that govern the provision of clear and reasonable warnings...more

Fracking: Yes! There’s Insurance Coverage for That!

Some people believe that “fracking” – the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology – is a miracle, increasing the extraction of oil and gas from places deep under the ground where hydrocarbons were...more

CFTC Reopens Comment Periods

On February 24, the CFTC submitted for publication in the Federal Register a notice reopening the comment periods for the two Position Limit rulemakings, in anticipation of questions and comments that may arise from the...more

Scanning The Post-Burlington Northern CERCLA Landscape

Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 556 U.S. 599 (2009), holding that a party must “take intentional steps to dispose of a hazardous...more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015 #2

Separate Contract Serves to Limit Insurance Coverage for Deepwater Horizon Spill, Texas Supreme Court Rules - Why it matters: The Texas Supreme Court rejected BP’s $750 million claim for coverage under Transocean...more

The Early Bird Catches the Worm: A Lesson in Submitting Drilling Applications Early to Avoid Expiration of Federal Oil and Gas...

As many of you know, permitting delays are not only frustrating but can have real consequences for project applicants with contractual deadlines. In the case of a federal oil and gas lease, operators should be mindful of the...more

FERC Technical Conferences Examining EPA Clean Power Plan Are Underway

At the close of 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) announced that it would hold a series of technical conferences to examine issues surrounding compliance with the Clean Power Plan proposed by the U.S....more

High Court Divided: Is A Fish A Tangible Object?

Gulf fisherman John Yates was cited by a federally-deputized Florida Fish & Wildlife officer for having caught a few red grouper that were about an inch under the 20” minimum limit at the time (they’d have been legal under...more

European Chemicals Agency Releases Practical Guide on Biocidal Products Regulation

Not a moment too soon, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) released a useful and clearly written Practical Guide on Biocidal Products Regulation, ECHA-14-B-19-EN. ECHA is the European Union (EU) agency tasked with...more

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

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