Foley Hoag LLP - Environmental Law

What’s a Court to Do When An Agency Admits Error? Vacate? Remand?

In Black Warrior Riverkeeper v. ACOE, decided this week by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court was faced with a quandary. “On the eve of oral argument”, in a case challenging The Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Conservative Support for a Carbon Tax? Hope Springs Eternal

I have long thought that the best argument for market-based approaches to climate change mitigation was the clunkiness of the alternative. However much time EPA has spent trying to make the GHG regulations efficient, no one can…more
| Elections & Politics, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Taxation

RCRA Still Poses Some Interpretive Problems (To Put It Gently)

In a potentially significant opinion last week, in Little Hocking Water Association v. DuPont, Judge Algenon Marbley gave hope to citizen plaintiffs everywhere, with a remarkably expansive reading of the imminent and substantial…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Is Injunctive Relief Available Against Former Owners? At Least One Judge Thinks So.

As we noted in 2013, two different Courts of Appeal had ruled that injunctive relief is not available in PSD/NSR enforcement cases against former owners. Both United States v. Midwest Generation and United States v. EME Homer…more
| Civil Remedies, Environmental Law, Real Estate - Commercial, Toxic Torts

RCRA Is a Mess

In a potentially significant opinion last week, in Little Hocking Water Association v. DuPont, Judge Algenon Marbley gave hope to citizen plaintiffs everywhere, with a remarkably expansive reading of the imminent and substantial…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Toxic Torts

What’s a Significant Nexus? The Answer, My Friend, Is Flowin’ Through the Ditch.

Even assuming that the “significant nexus” test from Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion in Rapanos defines waters of the United States subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction, the question remains what establishes a…more
| Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Construction Law, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

News Flash: Courts Still Defer to an Agency’s Interpretation of Its Own Rules

The Supreme Court today ruled that, when an agency revises its interpretive rules, it need not go through notice-and-comment rulemaking. Although the decision, in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, required the court to…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Finance & Banking, Real Estate - Residential

Self Righteousness Still Does Not Help the Environmentalists’ Cause

Fully five years ago, I noted that the cavalier treatment by government officials of FOIA requests made by opponents of government policy revealed a degree of self-righteousness that was both offensive and self-defeating –…more
| Administrative Law, Elections & Politics, Environmental Law

MassDEP — A Voice of Reason in the Stormwater Permitting Debate

EPA has been working to craft a general permit for small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems for quite some time. The most recent draft permit, published last September, has received significant comment, most recently from…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

No Competitors In My Backyard?

In Paradise Lost, John Milton wrote that “easy is the descent into Hell, for it is paved with good intentions.” A modern environmental lawyer might say that the road to waste, inefficiency, and obstruction is paved with good…more
| Civil Procedure, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

CERCLA’s Confusion Between Section 107 and Section 113

Over a decade after the Supreme Court’s decision in Cooper Industries v. Aviall, the divide between CERCLA Section 107 cost recovery claims and Section 113 contribution claims remains unsettled. PRPs incurring response costs at…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Remedies, Environmental Law, Real Estate - Commercial, Toxic Torts

Musings on Another Snowy Morning While Waiting For the Redline in Boston

As two current events illustrate, climate change over the coming years is likely to test and ultimately expose the fundamental inadequacy of much of the infrastructure built to support modern societies. The first current event…more
| Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Is It Too Late to Just Throw Superfund to the Curb?

Last week, Judge Paul Borman of the Eastern District of Michigan, allowed a motion by the United States for judgment on the pleadings, dismissing a third-party complaint brought against the United States by Michigan Consolidated…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Real Estate - Commercial

An Analysis of the Problems at the MBTA: Is This the Origin of “Sue-and-Settle”?

On Sunday, the Boston Globe had a fairly comprehensive look at the causes of the current failings of the MBTA. Interesting reading for those who like to belabor the obvious. The short version? Lack of political will and…more
| Elections & Politics, Finance & Banking, Transportation

The Impact of the Clean Power Plan on Reliability: Now We Have Dueling Assessments

In November, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation provided its “Initial Reliability Review” of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. NERC raised a number of concerns about the impact of the CPP on reliability…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law
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Contact: Jasmine Trillos-Decarie

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