Foley Hoag LLP - Environmental Law

The Problem With Using Economic Incentives to Reduce Water Use? People

Earlier this month, I noted that demand side management policies need to take human behavior into account if they are going to be successful. The same is apparently true for policies to reduce water consumption in…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

The D.C. Circuit Sends EPA Back to the Drawing Board to Fix Its Transport Rule Emissions Budgets

The Clean Air Act’s good neighbor provision prohibits upwind states from emitting air pollutants in amounts that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” of a national ambient air quality standard in a downwind state. …more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Transportation

EPA Hubris, July 2015 Edition

Anyone who reads this blog must have seen the explosion of reports in the trade press that EPA ignored significant criticism from the Army Corps of Engineers in promulgating its Waters of the United States rule. I have not seen…more
| Environmental Law

DOE Releases Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Pass Project

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Northern Pass Transmission, LLC’s proposed 187-mile transmission line across the United States-Canada border in New…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, International Law & Trade, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

The Earth Once More Spins Calmly On Its Axis; EPA’s Updated Hex Chrome MACT Rule Is Affirmed

On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s update of its hexavalent chromium MACT rule. Suffice it to say that this was a little easier than review of the power plant MACT rule…more
| Environmental Law

Two Strikes and Oklahoma’s Out (For Now): Another Challenge to the Clean Power Plan Is Rejected

On Friday, Judge Claire Eagan dismissed Oklahoma’s latest challenge to EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Yes, that plan. The one that hasn’t been promulgated yet…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

The Baker Administration looks to Hydropower to meet GHG goals

The Baker Administration announced on July 9 that it filed a bill for sourcing long-term hydroelectric power in the Commonwealth. Hydroelectric power currently provides a small portion of electricity consumed in Massachusetts…more
| Elections & Politics, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

The 10th Circuit Affirms Colorado’s RPS; The Dormant Commerce Clause Remains Dormant

When Colorado enacted a referendum petition strengthening its renewable portfolio standard, the Energy and Environment Legal Institute sued, arguing that the RPS violates the dormant commerce clause, because it harms…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

CERCLA Statute of Limitations Applies To Contribution Claims By A Party to a Private Settlement

Sometimes cases seem to be deciding issues that are so obvious it’s hard to figure out why they get any serious attention from the courts. One such case is ASARCO, LLC v. Celanese Chemical Company recently decided by the Ninth…more
| Bankruptcy, Commercial Law & Contracts, Environmental Law

The Ninth Circuit Reminds Us — Again — Just How Powerful the Endangered Species Act Is

On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Commerce Department’s designation of critical habitat for the southern distinct population segment of green sturgeon, once again reminding us just how difficult it is to…more
| Civil Procedure, Environmental Law

The Problem With Relying on Energy Efficiency to Reduce Emissions? People

The connection between energy use and emissions of air pollutants, including GHGs, is uncontroversial. It is also widely, if not universally, accepted that there is a lot of low-hanging fruit in energy efficiency. I agree…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Easy Cases Make Good Law: The Third Circuit Affirms EPA’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL

On Monday, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s TMDL for the Chesapeake Bay. This should not be news. Although Judge Ambro comprehensively disposed of the appellants arguments in a thoughtful opinion, I think that…more
| Environmental Law

Can the Majority and the Dissent Both Be Wrong? The Supreme Court Remands the MATS Rule

The short answer is, yes, though the majority is more wrong. In fact, the issue in Michigan v. EPA seems so simple that the MATS rule could have been affirmed in a two-page opinion. Judge Scalia notes that the word…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Do Climate Change and Same-Sex Marriage Have Anything in Common?

Recent events have me pondering this question. Most notably, in two court decisions last week, courts ordered the State of Washington and the government of the Netherlands to take more aggressive action against climate…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

FWS To Authorize Incidental Takes Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act?

Late last month, the Fish & Wildlife Service issued a Notice of Intent to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement to evaluate various options for authorizing incidental takes under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. …more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law
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