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In Case You Missed It: Launch Links - May 2016 #3

Some interesting links we found across the web this week: - Don’t Expect New Crowdfunding Rules to Create a Startup Boom - Equity crowdfunding went live this week under the SEC’s recent rulemaking, but many...more

Legislative Update

House Passes Budget: This week was budget week at the General Assembly with the House passing a $22.22 billion budget by week’s end. The budget drew more bipartisan support than any other budget since the Republicans...more

Feds Renew Focus on Worker Safety and Individual Accountability

Massey Energy CEO Donald Blankenship reported to a California prison on May 12 to begin serving a one-year sentence for willfully violating mine safety standards. His conviction was related to the deadliest United States...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

2015-16 New York State Budget

On April 13, 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the 2016-17 New York State Budget into law. We summarize the highlights of the revenue provisions below....more

Elevated Fine Lacks Justification, Mine Safety Agency Attorney Concedes

A government attorney agreed with opposing counsel that the Mine Safety and Health Administration had not justified a proposed 127 percent increase in fines against an Illinois coal operator. The two sides disagreed, however,...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine Legislative Session in Recess Until April 29 - In late night sessions ending at 2:30...more

Sophisticated User Defense Does Not Extend to Salesman

Richard Moran III v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (April 13, 2016) - In 2008, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that the “sophisticated user” defense...more

OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Rule: Compliance Clock Ticks While Legal Challenges Mount

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its final rule on “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica” (the “Silica Rule”) on March 25, 2016, and as expected numerous manufacturing...more

When is a Reward a Bribe? OSHA Policy Limits Workplace Safety Incentive Programs

Years ago, my employer gave employees a coaster every quarter that the group had no OSHA reportable incidents. Now it would have been in violation to have such a program. Despite criticism from workers compensation carriers...more

CFTC Awards More than $10 Million to Whistleblower

On April 4, 2016, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced a whistleblower award of more than $10 million. This is only the third whistleblower award that the CFTC has approved since the inception of the...more

A Beginner’s Guide to OSHA’s Final Silica Rule

On March 24, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule was published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2016....more

OSHA Law Alert: OSHA Issues Final Silica Rule

OSHA has announced the finalization of its long-awaited silica rule. When it takes effect on June 23, 2016, the rule will (1) reduce the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica; (2) require employers to implement...more

E2 Report Finds Clean Energy Employs 2.5 Million Americans

Last week Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) released a report entitled “Clean Jobs America,” a comprehensive analysis of clean energy and clean transportation jobs in the United States. The study found that over 2.5 million...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update

The first of three Minnesota legislative committee deadlines arrives tonight at midnight. By the first deadline, a committee must act favorably upon a bill in its body of origin or the bill does not move forward. As a result,...more

Employment Alert: "Responding to the Skyrocketing Rate of Wage and Hour Claims"

It is no secret that wage and hour cases are on the rise. As several news sources have recently reported, this issue is of particular concern in the oil and gas industry. According to the Federal Judicial Center, in 2015...more

Wage and Hour Focus in the Energy Sector Alive and Well

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) focus on wage and hour violations, which caught the oil and gas industry by surprise a little more than six years ago, continues to cause problems for the energy sector. Most recently, the...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 03/25/2016

The Minnesota Legislature had a short week, with no official business on Friday due to their Easter recess. The legislature will return on Tuesday, March 29, at noon. This week, committees continued to hear budget details...more

OSHA Issues Final Silica Rule: What’s the Same and What’s Changed?

On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register its final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E....more

Mine Your Own Business? Three Neighboring Mines Don’t Meet WARN Act “Single Site of Employment” Test

When are sister corporations considered a “single employer” under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act)? And when are their worksites considered a “single site of employment”? ...more

Quebec 2016-2017 Budget: Continued Fiscal Discipline

On March 17, 2016, the Quebec government (Government) unveiled the 2016-2017 budget (Budget). The Government confirmed that it balanced the books for 2015–16 and anticipates maintaining a balanced budget for 2016–17. The...more

Week Two at the Capitol

On Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled his $100 million supplemental budget proposal to deliver tax cuts for over 400,000 Minnesota families, make needed investments in early learning to eliminate achievement gaps, rebuild the...more

Minerals Matters - Winter 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of Minerals Matters and the first one of 2016. Last year was, on the whole, positive for the sector. We had the drama of the UK General Election and the surprisingly decisive outcome which...more

OSHA Issues Hazard Alert on Tank Gauging

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have issued a new hazard alert for health and safety risks to workers who manually gauge or sample...more

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