Environmental Transportation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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Court Rejects NEPA, Section 4(f) Challenges to Arizona South Mountain Freeway Project

In a decision of national importance to the transportation community, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona rejected National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) challenges and Section 4(f) challenges to the 22-mile...more

EPA Publishes Final Phase 2 Rule for GHG Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a joint set of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for new medium and heavy-duty vehicles and...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Most California water agencies choose zero as conservation target San Jose Mercury News - Aug 17 - Governor Jerry Brown's administration two months ago dropped all mandatory water...more

PHMSA Looks to Stakeholders to Complete Crude-by-Rail Response Plan Rule

The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently issued a proposed rule that aims to expand oil spill response plan (OSRP) requirements for railroads transporting oil. Stakeholders have already...more

Overlapping Labels Can Lead to Liability

Multiple regulatory agencies worldwide exercise jurisdiction over how hazards associated with chemicals in the workplace are communicated to employees and others. This creates a complex web of requirements and...more

Environmental Notes - August 2016

Time to Pay More: EPA Increases Maximum Civil Penalties - Remember the days when the maximum civil penalty EPA could assess for a violation of environmental law was $25,000 per day? Those days disappeared 26 years ago...more

New Alternative for Widening 55 Freeway Reduces Right-of-Way Impacts

For years, we’ve been working with our public agency clients during the environmental and design-phase to minimize right-of-way impacts with new infrastructure projects. Yet for many agencies, property acquisitions are an...more

Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants. Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when...more

Blogster's Miscellany: From a Cape Cod Reef to Those Ever-Risky Backyards of MA

AS EXCITING AS LAWMAKING. In March, federal funds and proceeds from the sale of state recreational saltwater fishing licenses were used to create an artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean, two miles south of Saquatucket...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - BNSF to appeal ruling blocking California rail yard - Wall Street Journal - Aug 2 - BNSF Railway Co. and the Port of Los Angeles on Tuesday appealed a court ruling against...more

EPA Determines that Aircraft Emissions Contribute to Air Pollution and Climate Change

Synopsis: EPA’s recent finding paves the way for the Agency to develop standards regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft. Businesses in the commercial jet manufacturing and aviation transportation industry should...more

European Commission Sets “Low-Emission Mobility” Strategy, Aiming for Zero-Emission Vehicles

Last month the European Commission continued its drive towards reducing carbon emissions by releasing a low-emission mobility strategy. The strategy identifies key transportation initiatives of the European Commission and...more

California Dreamin’: California Releases Its Sustainable Freight Action Plan and is Sued for Allegedly Improperly Imposing a Fee...

Late last week, California released the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, a comprehensive document that is to serve as a blueprint for transforming the state’s multi-billion dollar freight transport system into one...more

Obama Administration Announces Plan to Promote Electric Vehicles

In late July, the Obama administration announced a collaboration with 50 federal and state agencies, electric utility companies, vehicle manufacturers, electric charging station companies, and others in the private sector to...more

U.S. DOT Unveils Build America Bureau

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, senior Department staff, and even an official from the White House gathered at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters on July 20th to celebrate the grand opening of the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Supreme Court rules in state’s favor on Delta property rights - Sacramento Bee - Jul 21 - The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the state has the right to...more

U.S. EPA Finds Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aircraft Endanger Public Health—a First Step in Adoption of New ICAO Standards

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) released a draft rule in February of this year proposing a new standard for reducing GHG emissions in new and in-production commercial aircraft. In the wake of the proposed...more

Public Works Slowdown Following Implementation of the New Italian Public Procurement Code

The Italian Government definitively approved Legislative Decree no. 50 in April this year, implementing Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and European Council. The revised legislation...more

EU Consultation on Amendment to REACH Regulation with Regard to Restriction of DecaBDE

The European Commission launched a consultation on May 4, 2016, on a draft Regulation proposing a restriction on the manufacturing and placing on the market of the flame retardant, bis(pentabromophenyl)ether (decaBDE). The...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Launches Advisory Panels: On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched two advisory panels designed to facilitate small businesses to provide feedback to EPA...more

China Loses Claims to the South China Sea in Landmark Decision

On Tuesday, China received a binding decision from the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands, regarding territorial claims in the South China Sea. The international tribunal ruled unanimously that China’s...more

EPA Updates and Republishes SmartWay Freight Transportation Sustainability Program

Seyfarth Synopsis: For companies in the freight industry, if sustainability is important at your company or to its board of directors, then you may wish to investigate the EPA’s updated Smartway program, with its new...more

China Consultation on Second Revised Draft of the Road Transport of Dangerous Goods Approach

On June 28, 2016, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) issued the second revised draft of the Road Transport of Dangerous Goods Management Approach. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to reinforce the management of safe...more

Sustainable Development Update - July 2016

Sustainable Development Focus - What does the future hold for green bonds and solar investment? - PV-Tech - Jul 5 - Green bonds first appeared in the market in 2007, with initial issuance from development...more

FedEx Settlement with California Department of Toxic Substances Control Contains Important Lessons/Reminders for Product and Waste...

On June 14, 2016, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) entered into a settlement with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) to resolve allegations that FedEx improperly handled, transported,...more

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