Foley Hoag LLP - Environmental Law

Draft Released of Highly Anticipated Massachusetts Energy Bill

This week a draft of the long-awaited Massachusetts energy bill was reported out of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. The bill would require the Commonwealth’s distribution companies to…more
| Elections & Politics, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Government Contracting

The Global Warming Solutions Act Requires MassDEP to Promulgate Declining Annual GHG Emissions Limits for Multiple Sources: Yikes!

On Tuesday, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that MassDEP had violated the Global Warming Solutions Act by failing "To promulgate regulations that address multiple sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gas emissions,…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Three Strikes and the Commonwealth Is Out: The Natural Gas Act Preempts Article 97

Last week, Judge John Agostini ruled that the Natural Gas Act preempts Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which otherwise would have required a 2/3 vote of the Legislature before Article 97 land could be conveyed to…more
| Civil Remedies, Conflict of Laws, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

EPA’s Final Methane Rule: Fighting Climate Change Up to January 20, 2017 — And Beyond

Dylan Thomas said “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Obama’s EPA is taking that advice to heart, pushing forward aggressively on its climate change agenda, even as January 2017 approaches. On Thursday, EPA issued its…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Better Late Than Never: Massachusetts Moves to Obtain NPDES Delegation

Like most federal environmental programs, NPDES program authority is largely delegated to the states. Only four states aren’t delegated: Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. How is it that progressive…more
| Administrative Law, Elections & Politics, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Real Estate - Commercial, Real Estate - Residential, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Stop the Presses! EPA Still Thinks that the MATS Rule Is a Good Idea

Last week, EPA issued its “Supplemental Finding”, confirming that it still believes that its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are “appropriate and necessary.” I don’t have much to add to our post at the time of the proposed…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Big Changes With LIttle Fanfare: The FHWA Proposes to Use GHG Emissions as a Performance Measure

This week, the Federal Highway Administration issued a Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking to promulgate performance measures to be used in evaluating federal funding of transportation projects. The requirement for performance…more
| Electronic Discovery, Energy & Utilities, Transportation

MassDEP and CZM Propose Changes to Chapter 91 Regulations

MassDEP and the Commonwealth’s office of Coastal Zone Management recently proposed draft changes to the Designated Port Area and Facility of Public Accommodation regulations under the Chapter 91 program. Comments are due by…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

EPA Releases Long-Awaited MS4 Permit for Massachusetts

As announced in the Federal Register this week, EPA finally released the General Permit for small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts (say that three times fast!) This permit has been in the works for…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

A Substantive Due Process Right to Climate Change Regulation? What’s a Lonely Apostle of Judicial Restraint To Do?

Late last week, Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin concluded that the most recent public trust case, which seeks an injunction requiring the United States to take actions to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 350 parts per…more
| Constitutional Law, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

EPA Continues to Dismantle Clean Air Act Affirmative Defenses — Blame It On the Judge(s)

On Wednesday, EPA published certain amendments to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in the Federal Register. EPA describes most of the changes as “technical corrections,” but there is one important substantive change. EPA…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Climate Change and the ESA: Protecting the Wolverine in the Face of Uncertainty

Under the Endangered Species Act, a species is “threatened” when it is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future.” As scientists continue to predict that climate change will alter habitat over the…more
| Environmental Law

Water Turning To Blood; Flies; Hail? How About Water-borne Illness, Extreme Weather, and Actual Plague?

Passover starts later this month. Just in time, the U.S. Global Change Research Program has given us an updated list of plagues. What’s fascinating is that the new list actually bears a certain similarity to the biblical list…more
| Environmental Law, Health

Are Corps Jurisdictional Decisions Final Agency Action? It Appears So. Is This a Good Thing?

According to the trade press, today’s argument in Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes did not go well for the government. Pretty much the entire Court was seen as likely to conclude that Corps jurisdictional determinations are…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Environmental Law, Real Estate - Residential
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Contact: Audra Callanan

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