Environmental Elections & Politics Conflict of Laws

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Texas SWDA Preempts Plastic Bags-Related Ordinance

On August 17, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeals sitting in San Antonio held, in a 2 to 1 decision, that a City of Plastic bagsLaredo ordinance prohibiting the distribution of “single use” plastic bags at check-out...more

Toxic Substances Control Act: Past, Present and Future

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted on October 11, 1976 to regulate certain chemical substances and mixtures being used in interstate commerce. 15 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. TSCA delegated enforcement authority to...more

Industry, NGOs, Republicans, and Democrats Bond over Chemistry

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was passed in the House by an overwhelming vote of 403 – 12. After passing the Senate, it was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2016. The...more

The Toxic Substances Control Act Overhaul: What You Need to Know

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” into law, making comprehensive changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This step comes after years of...more

Congress Overhauls Chemical Safety Law

In a rare display of bipartisanism, on June 7, 2016, the Senate approved the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, after an earlier, affirmative vote in the House. The Lautenberg Act amends the Toxic...more

Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Fracking Bans that Conflict with State Law

On May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued opinions in two separate cases challenging local bans on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). A win for the oil and gas industry in the state, the Supreme Court held that the...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: A Legislative Outlook

Over the next eight weeks, we will provide a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector in a series of alerts. In this series, attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from...more

TSCA Legislation Passes the Senate, Nears Final Passage

On December 17, 2015, the Senate unanimously approved legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The legislation amended the bill already approved by the House of Representatives by substituting the text...more

Cosmetic Safety Legislation Introduced, Again

In what is the latest in a line of Congressional proposals to beef up the federal government’s authority to regulate cosmetics, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), has proposed a bill aimed at dramatically increasing Food and...more

Looks Like Frack is Back, Governor Abbott Signs House Bill 40

Yesterday, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law House Bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, which leaves municipalities with minimal power to regulate the oil and gas industry. The bill takes effect immediately...more

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations...more

TSCA Reform: Senate Committee Holds Markup and Passes Bipartisan Substitute Bill

On April 28, 2015, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing to consider several bills, including the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697). Prior to the hearing, on...more

Amended Udall-Vitter TSCA Reform Bill Reaches Senate Floor

On April 28, a modified version of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), also known as the “Udall-Vitter” Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform bill, was approved by the Senate...more

House Subcommittee to Revise Draft TSCA Reform Bill for May 14 Markup

Legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), already introduced in the Senate, has taken a step forward in the House of Representatives as well. ...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

Udall-Vitter TSCA Reform Bill Builds Momentum for Passage; Senators Boxer, Markey Respond with Competing Legislation

On March 10, 2015, Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and David Vitter (R-La.) introduced the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). ...more

California’s Fracking Preemption Battle Moves Forward in San Benito County

Oil company Citadel Exploration, Inc. has reportedly filed a lawsuit against San Benito County, arguing that the County’s voter-sponsored ban on various types of well stimulation—often referred to generally as hydraulic...more

Fracking Preemption Fight to Play Out in San Benito County

It appears that San Benito County will be the venue for the much-anticipated legal battle over whether local jurisdictions in California can ban hydraulic fracturing. In early November, San Benito County passed a...more

“Frac Free Denton” Faces Legal Fight

On November 4, 2014, Denton, Texas, became the first Texas city to vote to ban fracking within city limits, as covered by Reuters, the Star-Telegram, and The Wall Street Journal. The ballot initiative, which passed with just...more

State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues. This year’s Environmental...more

Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair...more

Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two...more

Reviewing Courts' Approaches to State or Local Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

While many debates over hydraulic fracturing continue throughout the oil and gas industry, a growing number of state courts are addressing the "home rule" argument, or in this case, whether local governments within the state...more

New York and Colorado Confirm Local Governments' Rights to Ban Fracking

On Monday, June 30, the highest courts in both New York and Colorado confirmed local municipalities' rights to regulate land use within their jurisdictions. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld two towns' bans on shale...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

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