Foley Hoag LLP - Environmental Law

The Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Remains Deferential: The Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21 Survives Review

Late last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to the Army Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21, which allows small surface mining projects to proceed without individual permits under § 404…more
| Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

The Social Cost of Carbon Passes Its First Judicial Test

Earlier this week, the 7th Circuit affirmed the Department of Energy’s new energy efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration equipment. This is a big deal in its own right, simply because the numbers are really large…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

A Foolish Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds: So Said Emerson, So Says EPA

On Wednesday, EPA issued a final rule amending its “Regional Consistency Regulations.” The new rule provides that EPA will only follow adverse judicial decisions in the areas of the country where such judicial decisions are…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Massachusetts Legislature Enacts Significant Energy Bill in Support of Offshore Wind and Hydro Procurement, Storage and Transmission

Late last night, the Massachusetts legislature enacted House Bill 4568, an act to promote energy diversity (the “Act”). Overall, the Act marks a compromise between the House’s original procurement-only legislation and the…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Chevron Deference Lives! EPA’s Boiler Rule (Mostly) Survives Review

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit largely upheld EPA’s Boiler MACT rule. The industry challenges were a complete washout. The environmental petitioners won one significant victory and a number of smaller ones…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

No Deference to State Settlements Under CERCLA? No Problem!

I will confess that I do enjoy being correct. In 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to defer to a state agency determination of the procedural and substantive fairness of a CERCLA consent decree. Various parties…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Forecast is Hazy For EPA’s Regional Haze Oversight Authority

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s disapproval of the Texas and Oklahoma regional haze state implementation plans, as well as EPA’s promulgation of its own federal implementation plan. The opinion…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Three Strikes and Mingo Logan Is Out: The D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA Withdrawal of Approval of Mountaintop Removal Disposal Sites

In 2013, the D.C. Circuit affirmed EPA’s authority to withdrawal approval of mountaintop mining disposal sites, even after the Army Corps has issued a Section 404 permit. In 2014, the District Court rejected Mingo Logan’s…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Exxon Sues Massachusetts AG to Block Civil Investigative Demand

On June 15, 2016, Exxon sued Massachusetts AG Maura Healey in federal court in Texas, seeking to bar the enforcement of AG Healey’s April 19, 2016 civil investigative demand, issued pursuant to M.G.L. c. 93A, the Commonwealth’s…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Wyoming Prohibits Trespassing For Resource Data Collection: Might Massachusetts Follow?

In a fascinating case, Judge Scott Skavdahl (who recently struck down BLM’s fracking regulations) dismissed challenges from NRDC and PETA, among others, to a Wyoming law that prohibits trespassing on private land for the purpose…more
| Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Privacy, Real Estate - Commercial, Real Estate - Residential

Violations of Environmental Law Are About To Get More Expensive

On July 1, EPA promulgated an interim final rule making inflation adjustments to the civil penalties under statutes it administers. The adjustments are required by statute. The new amounts apply to violations that occurred…more
| Environmental Law

The Antarctic Ozone Hole Is Healing. Full Stop.

An article published Friday in Science reports that the Antarctic ozone hole is healing.  As the article notes, there was some previous evidence about global improvement in stratospheric ozone levels, but this is the first to…more
| Environmental Law

TSCA Reform Is Real: EPA Publishes Its “First Year Implementation Plan”

On Wednesday, EPA released its “First Year Implementation Plan” for the recently enacted TSCA reform legislation. Before getting to the details, it’s worth emphasizing what a significant accomplishment it was to get TSCA…more
| Consumer Protection, Environmental Law, Science, Computers, & Technology

Massachusetts Energy Bill Emerges from Senate Committee on Ways and Means

Last Friday, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its version of the energy bill that passed the House earlier this month. Whereas the House bill would require distribution companies to procure 1,200 MW of offshore…more
| Elections & Politics, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

I Have Seen the Future and It Is Hot and Wet

The City of Boston has just released its “Climate Projections Consensus.” It’s not a pretty picture. Here are the lowlights..…more
| Environmental Law
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Contact: Audra Callanan

  • 617-832-1000
  • 617-832-7000

Areas of Practice
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