Environmental Assessments

News & Analysis as of

BC Environmental Assessment Office Fees

The Province of British Columbia approved an Order in Council dated April 11, 2014 to establish environmental assessment fees in British Columbia for the review of environmental assessment applications, orders and enforcement...more

Environment Minister Tasked With Reviewing The Environmental Assessment Office For Effectiveness And Efficiency

In a speech to the Association for Mineral Exploration of British Columbia, Premier Christy Clark advised that the environment minister, Mary Polak, has been given the task of reviewing The Environmental Assessment Office to...more

Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court: California Property Owners Secure Victory in New Eminent Domain Opinion

In a victory for California property owners, the California Court of Appeal, on March 13, 2014, issued a new opinion holding that the State of California's proposed entry onto hundreds of properties in Northern California for...more

EPA Approves the New Phase I Standard

Many in the construction industry are familiar with Phase I testing as the first step in identifying environmental risk to any site. Since 2005, the industry standard for a Phase I has been the ASTM E 1527-05. Recently,...more

Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Saudi Prince in Benedict Canyon Case

Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Saudi Prince in Benedict Canyon Case Rejects arguments that ordinance requires environmental review In the much publicized case of a Saudi Prince seeking to build his residential...more

The Keystone XL Pipeline: More Debate and Delay?

The debate and delay surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline project proposed to be built by TransCanada Corp. continue. When the State Department released its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“FSEIS”)...more

9th Circ. Simplifies Enviro Process For Transit Projects

In a decision of national importance for transit and highway projects, on Feb. 18, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected environmental challenges to the 20-mile Honolulu Rail Transit Project. On the same day, the...more

Mitigate Early and Often: Four Public Agency Strategies for Streamlining Projects

BB&K's Steven Anderson and Lucas Quass Offer Tips for Environmental Mitigation - Like private development, public projects must frequently obtain and comply with a variety of state and federal regulatory permits. Too...more

New Rules Provide for More Detail in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Doing environmental due diligence in order to come within the “all appropriate inquiry” safe harbor under federal and many state environmental statutes has become a necessary component of the underwriting process for...more

Court of Appeal Finds Caltrans Omitted Material Necessary to Informed Decision Making by Failing to Include a Threshold of...

In Lotus v. Department of Transportation (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 645, a California Court of Appeal found that Caltrans omitted material necessary to informed decision-making and informed public-participation when it failed to...more

There May Be Trouble Ahead: Legal Challenges on Home Turf Threaten U.S. Ex-Im Bank Funding for Foreign Mining Projects

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is facing a new wave of legal challenges related to the financing of natural resource projects outside of the US, and which threaten to de-rail one of Western...more

New EPA Standard Provides Guidance for Phase I Investigations

In a recent rulemaking, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” (set forth in 40 CFR Part 312) to reference in the rule ASTM Standard E1527-13. ASTM Standard E1527-13 is the...more

The Ninth Circuit Addresses NEPA’s Goldilocks Problem: How Many Alternatives Are Just Enough?

One of the critical elements of NEPA is that project proponents must assess the feasibility and impacts of not only the preferred alternative, but also a range of alternatives. However, there is a tension in NEPA, because it...more

Family Businesses and Environmental Liability

We all know that environmental laws impose heavy liability on businesses that release environmental contaminants into the air, soil or water. The family business is not immune to such liability. In fact, many...more

The EPA Approves New Environmental Due Diligence Standard

On December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final rulemaking recognizing the newly amended ASTM standard practice for Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments, E 1527-13 as...more

New Standard Will Help Clarify Environmental Conditions For Homebuilders

When you are buying raw land to build homes, you need to know what you are buying. A 100-acre tract of farmland may look pristine to the untrained eye, but an environmental professional may discover a leaking underground...more

The New Environmental Due Diligence Standard Saga Continues

To supplement our prior blog posts with respect to this issue, on December 30, 2013, the USEPA published a final rule (“Final Rule”) adopting the ASTM E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments, Phase I...more

EPA Issues Assessment of Bristol Bay and Large-Scale Mining

On January 15, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued its final Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska, concluding that large-scale mining in the region poses risks to...more

US EPA Approves New Standard for Conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued its final rule amending the standards and practices for conducting environmental "all appropriate inquiries" to include a new standard recently made...more

U.S. EPA Approves ASTM E1527-13 for Application to the All Appropriate Inquiry Rule

Effective December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries” Rule (AAI Rule) to reference the recently published American Society for Testing and Materials...more

EPA Adds An Additional ASTM International Standard To “All Appropriate Inquiry” For Environmental Assessments

As stated in the Federal Register, effective December 30, 2013, the “All Appropriate Inquiry Rule,” found at 40 CFR Part 312.11 was amended to add as paragraph (c)- a reference to ASTM International’s E1527-13 “Standard...more

Researchers Examine Potential Connection Between Disposal Wells and Earthquakes in North Texas

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and Southern Methodist University are currently monitoring seismic activity around Azle, Texas amidst claims that a series of small earthquakes that occurred in the area in late...more

Revised Phase I Environmental Assessment Standard Issued

On November 6, 2013, ASTM International issued its revised Phase I Environmental Assessment Standard, E1527-13, “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.” Perhaps...more

EPA Approves New Assessment Standards For CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense

On December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule relating to the bona fide prospective purchaser defense to CERCLA. EPA has authorized prospective purchasers of real estate to...more

EPA Calls for New “Completion Strategies” at Contaminated Groundwater Sites

October 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its draft “Groundwater Remedy Completion Strategy – Moving Forward with Completion in Mind,” which would establish a recommended strategy for an adaptive...more

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