Foley Hoag LLP - Environmental Law

Seaport West 155 Seaport Boulevard
Boston, MA 02210-2600, United States

Contact: Jasmine Trillos-Decarie

  • 617-832-1000
  • 617-832-7000

Who Gets to Review EPA Actions? The Court of Appeals? The District Court? (Hint: The Answer Is Not “Neither One”)

The general rule under the Clean Air Act is that any: person may bring suit in district court against the EPA Administrator for an alleged failure to perform a nondiscretionary act or duty, and the district court has…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Environmental Law

Is Selenium the Coal Industry’s Kryptonite? Citizen Groups Obtain Summary Judgment Based on Water Quality Criteria Exceedances

Last week, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and other NGOs obtained summary judgment that Alex Energy had violated both its NPDES permit and its Surface Mining Permits due to exceedances of the West Virginia water quality…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

An Update On Standing — Some Specifics Really Are Required

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s approval of Nevada’s State Implementation Plan for regional haze against a challenge by WildEarth Guardians. The decision isn’t earthshaking. However, because it found…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Settling Parties In Government Consent Orders Have CERCLA Claims For Contribution Not Cost Recovery

To the extent there was any remaining uncertainty, the Sixth Circuit has now made crystalline that a party settling some or all of its liability under CERCLA with the United States or a state has a contribution claim under…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Environmental Law, Toxic Torts, Real Estate - Commercial

EPA Wins Two Clean Water Cases in One Day: The Fourth Circuit Affirms a Narrow Construction of the Permit Shield Defense

Yesterday, I noted that the D.C. Circuit rejected challenges to EPA’s Enhanced Coordination Process and Final Guidance on Clean Water Act permitting for mining activities. It was not EPA’s only CWA victory. On the same day, the…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Still Using Economic (and Safety) Arguments to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Massassachusetts Enacts Gas Leak Legislation

As I noted last year, there has been a concerted effort on the part of those fighting climate change to emphasize economic issues in connection with their policy proposals. That post concerned Senator Markey’s efforts to…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

The D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge to EPA’s Final Guidance on CWA Coal Mining Permits: EPA Action Has to Be Really, Really, Final to Be Appealable

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit reversed Judge Reggie Walton’s decision from 2012 and affirmed EPA’s authority to adopt the “Enhanced Coordination Process” governing coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers in the processing of…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

The Reach of Sackett is Not Infinite: Regulated Facilities May Not Challenge EPA Notices of Violation

After the Supreme Court held in Sackett v. EPA that EPA must provide hearings to those to whom it issues unilateral administrative orders, the regulated community immediately began to wonder how broadly the ruling would sweep…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Absolute Pollution Exclusions Are Absolute When There Has Been Pollution

Pollution exclusions first became routine in liability policies in the early 1970s. After a decade of often unsuccessful litigation trying to enforce those exclusions, insurers introduced a so called “absolute” pollution…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Environmental Law, Insurance, Toxic Torts

Is Death A Defense To CERCLA Liability?

In contrast to the early days of Superfund when no argument for extending CERCLA liability was too far-fetched, the Second Circuit recently rejected one of the all-time “Hail Mary” passes for CERCLA contribution. The case,…more
| Civil Procedure, Environmental Law, Toxic Torts, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

83% of a Loaf Is Better Than None: The Supreme Court Affirms EPA’s Authority to Regulate “Anyway Sources”, But Rejects Regulation of Otherwise Exempt Sources

The Supreme Court affirmed EPA’s authority to subject 83% of greenhouse gas emissions to its PSD and Title V Operating Permit programs. However, EPA’s rationale for the rule did not fare so well, and EPA does not have authority…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Does Offshore Wind Finally Have The Wind At Its Back? DOI Announces Plan For Largest Auction To Date

Earlier this week, DOI Secretary Jewell joined with Governor Patrick to announce plans to auction more than 1,000 square miles on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Massachusetts for wind energy development. The auction, which…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

More on EPA’s GHG Rule: I Am NOT Going To Set Odds on Whether the Rule Would Survive Judicial Review

Last week, in posting about EPA’s Clean Power Plan, I noted that some potential plaintiffs might face standing obstacles in seeking to challenge the rule, assuming it is promulgated as proposed. Today, I take a (very) slightly…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Do Statutes of Repose Under CERCLA Really Require Supreme Court Review

Even Superfund lawyers are likely to find the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in CTS Corporation v. Waldburger to be of limited interest. Unable to reach an agreement about a federal “toxic tort” cause of action, Congress in…more
| Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Environmental Law, Toxic Torts, Real Estate - Commercial

EPA May Be Regulating GHGs, But Private Litigation Still Looks to be On Shaky Ground

In a case of interesting timing, three days after EPA announced its proposed GHG rules for existing facilities, the D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal of a case seeking an injunction against EPA and other federal defendants…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law
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Areas of Practice
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Construction Law
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Toxic Torts
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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