Environmental Policies

News & Analysis as of

EPA Publishes New TSCA Framework Rules

The revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in June 2016. TSCA requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize several “framework” rules by June 2017. Recently, EPA published three of these...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2017 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump EPA pick: still 'some debate' over human role in climate change - The Guardian - Jan 18 - During a combative Senate confirmation hearing this week, Scott Pruitt,...more

From ESA to Keystone to EPA, Changes Coming Fast

Few things are certain leading up to Donald Trump’s presidency. But there is no question that environmental and energy policy will take center stage in the days – perhaps hours – following his inauguration....more

Meeting Society’s Expectations for Corporate Social Responsibility

Younger employees along with the public and media continue to apply pressure on organizations to address Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues including human rights and environmental sustainability. For many...more

EPA Issues Final Determination That No Adjustments to GHG Standards for Model Years 2022-2025 Will Be Made, but Questions Remain

On January 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its determination not to change greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for cars and light trucks manufactured in model years (MYs) 2022-2025. This...more

On the Horizon

Welcome to the January 2017 edition of "On the Horizon" - the mining sector's guide to relevant upcoming legal, commercial and regulatory changes and developments. - In this guide, you will find ... Please see full...more

Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits Reissued: Permit Streamlining Remains Intact

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on Jan. 6, 2017, published a final rule reissuing its Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits (NWPs) with some modifications (88 Fed. Reg. 1860). The NWP program authorizes streamlined...more

EPA Proposes to Require $7+ Billion of Financial Assurances from U.S. Hardrock Mining Industry Under CERCLA Section 108(b)

Last week the EPA officially published its proposal to impose over $7 billion of financial assurance requirements on the owners and operators of currently active or idle hardrock mines and mineral processing facilities. 82...more

Maine DEP Plans to Tighten Opacity Standards in Response to EPA SIP Call

You think maintaining compliance with opacity standards is a challenge now – just wait. As anyone who has started a campfire knows, opacity (the density of the smoke) tends to be high when starting and ending fuel burning,...more

Environment: The Year Ahead

The year ahead presents a series of challenges and opportunities for the development of environmental law across Europe. Notably, the Paris Agreement came into effect on 4 November 2016 and is now binding upon the signatory...more

Environmental Enforcement Under Trump – Be Careful What You Wish For

Regardless of whether you are a Trump supporter or Trump hater, and there certainly seems to be very few people who are indifferent to the guy, trying to prognosticate what he will do is very difficult. He is a political...more

TDEC Solicits Comments on Antidegradation Guidance Document

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (“TDEC”) is soliciting comments on its new Antidegradation Guidance Document. The document, dated July 19, 2016, was made public January 5, 2016. TDEC is requesting...more

NMFS Publishes Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Recovery Plan

On January 5, 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published notice of the availability of the final Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas). The Endangered Species Act (ESA)...more

Texas Cactus and Three Other Species Proposed for Downlisting or Delisting by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

On December 28, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to reclassify the Tobusch fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus brevihamatus ssp. tobuschii), downlisting the species from endangered to...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - - Program Requirement Revisions Related to the Public Water System Supervision Programs for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont - EPA is giving notice that...more

Recently Proposed Pollution Notice Rule Struck as Invalid

The Division of Administrative Hearings ("DOAH") recently struck down the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's ("FDEP") proposed Public Notice of Pollution Rule 62-4.161 ("the Rule") in response to a petition...more

DOAH Strikes Proposed Rule Requiring Public Notification of "Reportable Releases"

On December 30, the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) entered a final order invalidating the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) proposed rule expanding notification requirements for every release of any...more

Sustainability: The Road to a Circular Economy

The launch of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019, covering the eco-design and energy labelling framework last month is another key milestone in the Commission’s plan to transition the EU to a more circular economy. ...more

MEDEP Proposes to Adopt EPA's Solvent Wipes Rule

For many years, both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) have wrestled with the practical question of how solvent-contaminated wipes should be...more

Trump transition: What lies ahead for tax, health care, environment and financial services

Politically, 2016 is a year few of us will soon forget — and 2017 could be just as memorable, as the focus shifts from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill. With Congress adjourned for the year and the framework of the Trump...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - California sues to block offshore oil hydraulic fracturing - OC Register - Dec 20 - California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the California Coastal Commission filed...more

EPA Issues Financial Responsibility Requirements for the Hardrock Mining Industry and Announces Intent to Regulate Other...

On December 1, 2016, EPA signed a proposed rule setting forth financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and...more

Trump Cabinet Selections Signal Potential Changes to Environmental Regulations

As previously reported, President-elect Donald Trump’s victory could have profound implications for federal environmental regulation. Although the scope of the intended regulatory changes remains uncertain, President-elect...more

December 2016: Energy Litigation Update

Update on Clean Power Plan. In August 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) finalized a new set of standards, now known as the Clean Power Plan (the “Plan”), aimed at reducing carbon emissions from fossil-fuel...more

EPA Publishes Final Rule for Small MS4 General Discharge Permits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit Remand Rule in the Federal Register on Dec. 9,...more

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