News & Analysis as of

EPA Proposes Financial Responsibility Requirements for Hardrock Mining Industry - The Proposed Rule Could Set a Precedent for...

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy on Dec. 1, 2016, signed a pre-publication version of a proposed rule that seeks to establish financial responsibility requirements for approximately 221...more

EPA Releases CERCLA Financial Assurance Rule

EPA has released its long-awaited proposed CERCLA financial assurance regulations for the hardrock mining industry. When finalized, these regulations will serve as a model for financial assurance regulations for other...more

Impacts of the 2016 U.S. Election on Environmental Law, Policy, and Enforcement

The 2016 election results will have wide-ranging impacts on the future direction of environmental law, policy, and enforcement in the U.S. With 100 lawyers in offices around the U.S. focused on environmental and natural...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, November 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Extends Comment Period On Proposed SNUR: On October 21, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has reopened the comment period on a proposed Significant New...more

Trump’s Impact on Environmental Law? Let the Speculation Begin!

What will a Trump Presidency mean for environmental law? I’m not sure my crystal ball if better than anyone else’s, but here are a few quick thoughts...more

Environmental Notes - November 2016

EPA has revised its procedures for making certain changes to its “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” also known as SW-846. The test method and its compendium of guidance documents provide...more

EPA Plays Defense in Mine Disaster

EPA finds itself in unfamiliar territory as the agency defends its involvement in a multi-state environmental disaster. In 2015, a contractor acting under EPA’s supervision used an excavator to dig away tons of rock and...more

TX Court of Appeals Reaffirms That “Preponderance of the Evidence ” Test Can Be Applied To TCEQ Orders Issued Under The TSWDA

On April 8, 2016, the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, at Austin, issued an important decision interpreting the standard of review that applies to the judicial review of certain administrative enforcement orders issued...more

The (much!) Higher Cost of Non-Compliance: Federal Civil Penalties Increase

EPA has released an interim final rule with penalty adjustments mandated by a new law (“Interim Rule” or “Rule”). Most importantly, the “catch up” adjustments under the Interim Rule carry quite a wallop for those subject to...more

Federal Court Decision Finding EPA has a Non-Discretionary Duty to Evaluate Employment Impacts under the Clean Air Act May Have...

An October 2016 federal court decision confirmed that, as a matter of law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a non-discretionary duty to undertake an ongoing evaluation of job losses that may result from...more

WV District Court: EPA Has A Non-discretionary Duty Under The CAA To Evaluate Economic Losses Resulting From Government Action

On October 17, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia coalgranted summary judgment to Murray Energy Corporation, which sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking declaratory and...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, October 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Issues Statements Of Findings For September 2016: On September 23, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice announcing its findings after its review of Toxic...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, September 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Extends Comment Period On PIPs: On August 17, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the comment period on its White Paper describing how EPA intends to modify its...more

CWA: EPA Settlement Telegraphs Changes to General Permit Coverage for Facilities with Coal Tar Sealed Pavement

On August 16, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement in Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuits filed over its 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial...more

Stormwater Forecast: Prepare for More Aggressive Benchmark Monitoring and Corrective Action Requirements under the Next Proposed...

EPA is expected to propose a revised system of benchmark monitoring and corrective action requirements to replace those of the current 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activities...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

Recent Environmental and Administrative Law Decisions by Federal and State Courts

The state and federal appellate courts have issued a surprising number of significant rulings in a variety of environmental and administrative law controversies in late July and early August: - On August 8, the U.S....more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

Federal - Notice of Availability of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Two Updated Chapters in the EPA Air Pollution Control Cost Manual - EPA is making two finalized chapters of the EPA Air Pollution Control...more

Lesson of Ninth Circuit CERCLA Decision: Prepare to Prove Recoverable Costs

On June 13, 2016, the Ninth Circuit held that a party which has settled its liability pursuant to a CERCLA section 1071 cost recovery claim may recover any response costs not covered by the settlement under CERCLA section...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Supreme Court rules in state’s favor on Delta property rights - Sacramento Bee - Jul 21 - The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the state has the right to...more

Be Prepared: Civil Penalties to Rise Starting August 1

Effective August 1, OSHA, EPA and the Department of the Interior, among other federal agencies, are raising the ranges of civil penalties assessed under their respective programs. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Launches Advisory Panels: On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched two advisory panels designed to facilitate small businesses to provide feedback to EPA...more

OSHA, EPA and DOI Increase Maximum Civil Penalties

This summer, many federal agencies increased civil monetary penalties as much as 150 percent in response to new legislation mandating that federal agencies "catch up" with inflation and remedy past government failures to...more

EPA Raises Statutory Civil Penalty Amounts

If the cost of doing business includes responding to and resolving periodic environmental and worker safety enforcement matters, the price goes up on August 1. The EPA is raising statutory civil penalty amounts for the many...more

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