Environmental Policies

News & Analysis as of

Presidential Memorandum on Natural Resources Mitigation Policy: Avoid, Minimize and Compensate

President Barack Obama recently ordered the heads of five federal agencies (U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic...more

Coming Soon to a Project Near You: Advance Compensation

Earlier this month, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum on “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.” If that portentous title isn’t enough to make...more

If A Tree Falls In The (Urban) Forest … Does CEQA Apply? Sixth District Holds City Of Santa Cruz’s Amendment Of Tree Protection...

When California local governments stretch their resources too far to regulate private conduct and property rights in the name of environmental protection, CEQA can make it quite onerous to undo what has been done. And one can...more

Another Season of Change in North Carolina Environmental Law – Part I

The 2015 North Carolina legislative session resulted in a great deal of change for the state’s environmental agency and for the statutory programs it administers. The legislative session saw fundamental organizational changes...more

Denmark Posts Several Publications Concerning Nanomaterials

On November 10, 2015, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency posted the following publications concerning nanomaterials: - Environmental assessment of nanomaterial use in Denmark: This is the concluding report of the...more

EPA Launches New Web Page on Secondary and Service Containers for Pesticides

On November 6, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has a new webpage that compiles information about secondary containers and service containers for pesticides. Secondary and service...more

Compliance with the Clean Air Act Increasingly Unlikely to Protect Companies from Nuisance Suits

A recent decision out of the Sixth Circuit found that the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) does not preempt common law claims brought against an emitter based on the law of the state in which the emitter operates. This decision, Merrick...more

CERCLA Update: Court Reverses Divisibility Ruling

Earlier this year, we reported on a case that seemed to breathe new life into the divisibility defense under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).  Under CERCLA, a party that...more

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issue Final Rule Defining “Waters of the United States”...

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a final rule defining “Waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act....more

Climate Change and Creative Problem Solving

A story in the New York Times recently portrays the ice cap in Greenland as rapidly disappearing. (NYT). Indeed, the pictures are dramatic. The story is based on experiences and observations from scientists working in the...more

Pennsylvania Township Moves to Revive an Ordinance Banning Disposal of Wastewater from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities, After...

On October 26, 2015, Grant Township, Pennsylvania, filed a Motion for Reconsideration of Western District of Pennsylvania District Court Magistrate Judge Susan Baxter’s October 14, 2015, ruling invalidating several elements...more

Electronic Reporting to be the NPDES Rule

After a lengthy public notice and comment period, the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Electronic Reporting Rule was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015, and will become...more

EPA'S Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rules May Impose Significant Burdens on Health Care Facilities - Comment Period Runs Until...

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has promulgated its proposed regulation of “hazardous waste pharmaceuticals,” i.e., pharmaceutical residues discarded from health care facilities which also meet EPA’s long-standing...more

Congressional Challenges Loom for Clean Power Plan Final Rule

Before the end of the year, federal lawmakers are expected to undertake a series of actions to limit, amend, delay or repeal President Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) final rule. The final rule was formally published on Oct....more

Focus on China - October 2015

Welcome to the third issue of Focus on China Compliance for 2015. According to the FCPA Blog’s October 2015 Corporate Investigations List, China leads the countries reported to be involved in FCPA investigations with 29...more

United States Geological Survey and Other Agencies Announce Sagebrush Restoration Handbook Series

On the heels of the recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) decision not to list the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the Endangered Species Act and the concurrent Bureau of Land Management (BLM)...more

Clean Power Plan Formally Published – Full Steam Ahead for Challengers!

The U.S. EPA formally published the final version of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan on Friday, October 23, an action which starts a 60 day period within which to challenge the rule. On the same day, 26 challenges...more

Clean Power Plan: EPA Provides Guidance on Initial Submittals and Extension Process

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards has issued a memorandum providing direction to the states interested in seeking a two-year extension of time in which to develop and...more

Trans-Pacific Partnership Has Challenges, Opportunities for U.S. Companies

The U.S. and its 11 negotiating partners – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – reached preliminary agreement on October 5, 2015, on the Trans-Pacific...more

Activists Make Good on Promise to Sue DOT over Pipeline Regs.

On October 8, the National Wildlife Federation (“NWF”) fulfilled its promise to sue the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”). The lawsuit alleges that for 20 years the DOT has allowed pipelines to operate illegally by...more

UK government introduces enhanced enforcement powers for environmental permitting breaches

Earlier this month the government published its response to a consultation on proposals to enhance regulators’ enforcement powers to deal with environmental permitting breaches. Simultaneously, the government has published...more

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement reached: What does it mean for you?

The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim trading partners recently announced that they have come to a provisional agreement on the wide-ranging trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”), which, over...more

US China Trade War

The October blog post will be broken up into two parts. This October 15th post will comment on the TPP Agreement signed today and well as President Xi Jinping’s recent trip to the US and my impressions from Beijing, China...more

Mainbrace: October 2015, No. 4

As with the world economy, the shipping markets are currently experiencing a major bout of volatility. The wide range of matters we are handling in our maritime law practice certainly reflects the current swings the shipping...more

China Demonstrates Increasing Commitment to Addressing Climate Change and Air Pollution Challenges

In the past few weeks, China has taken major steps to revamp its air pollution and climate change policies, domestically and internationally. On September 25, 2015, China entered into a Joint Statement with the United States...more

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