Environmental Policies

News & Analysis as of

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Army Corps Drops Regional Permit - The Army Corps has announced that it has abandoned the idea of establishing a regional general permit for the New England states. The proposal would have replaced the individual...more

Fall 2014 CEQA Roundup: Legislative and Regulatory Developments

A number of recent legislative and regulatory developments in or related to CEQA will impact public agencies, developers, and practitioners in the coming year. Some significant recent developments include: SB 743...more

Doing Business in the United States

In This Book: - Choice Of A Business Entity - Introduction To Federal Securities Laws - From Let’s Go Shopping To Closing: M&A Process In The United States - Employment Considerations -...more

China Update - October 2014

In This Issue: - Quote of the Week - U.S.-China Relations - Energy & Environment - Trade - Excerpt from U.S.-China Relations: China’s Foreign Minister Meets with President Obama and Senior...more

California Enacts Comprehensive Groundwater Management Legislation

On September 16, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a historic package of three bills—Senate Bill 1168, Senate Bill 1319 and Assembly Bill 1739—instituting comprehensive groundwater management in...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 10/14

EPA Schedules SAP Meeting On Endocrine Activity: On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has scheduled a four-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide...more

EPA Comments Suggest Emphasis on Creativity and Internalizing Externalities in Climate Strategy

The American Bar Association's Section of Energy, Environment and Resources held its Fall Conference last week. Noteworthy from a climate perspective were the keynote address by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator...more

In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the...

On September 4, 2014, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued findings of fact and conclusions of law for the trial of the MDL of the Gulf Oil Spill, which included findings that the oil spill was the result of BP Exploration...more

Kansas Appellate Court Disallows Strict Liability Claims for Refinery’s Alleged Discharge of Pollutants

In City of Neodesha v. BP Corporation North America, Inc., 2014 WL 4116576, which involved BP’s successful defense of claims relating discharges from its refinery, the Court of Appeals of Kansas affirmed the denial of the...more

Significant Victory for Defendants in Sierra Club Pollution Suit

In Sierra Club v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. W-12-CV-108 (W.D. Tex. August 29, 2014), a Texas federal judge recently awarded $6.4 million in attorneys’ fees and costs to the defendants in a pollution suit brought by...more

Environmental Claims: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Asarco LLC v. Goodwin, 756 F.3d 191 (2nd Cir. 2014) – A reorganized company (Asarco) sought contribution for payment of environmental claims from beneficiaries of trusts created under John D. Rockefeller’s will. The...more

Proposition 65 Warning Requirement for DINP Set to Take Effect in December

Beginning December 20, 2014, companies with ten or more employees that manufacture, distribute or sell products in California containing Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) will be required to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings...more

Two petitions filed seeking Supreme Court review of Ninth Circuit decision in Delta smelt case

Recently, two separate petitions were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell, a case involving a challenge to the biological...more

Significant Change to EPA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” Rule

Performing a Phase I environmental site assessment has long been a routine, but integral part of the environmental due diligence in any transaction involving the acquisition of an interest in commercial and industrial real...more

PADEP Proposes Tough New Policy for Enforcing Oil and Gas Violations and Responding to Water Contamination Complaints

On October 3, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”) unveiled a new draft policy that would strengthen its compliance and enforcement protocols for both unconventional and conventional oil and...more

EPA Announces Final Rule Eliminating ASTM Phase I ESA Standard E1527-05 from CERCLA “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule”

On October 6, 2014, the EPA announced a final rule amending the “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” [40 CFR Part 312] (“AAI Rule”) for conducting environmental site investigations of potentially contaminated property....more

Dealing With NIMBYs in Local Land Use and Environmental Approval

A developer or property owner may have a permit application for a project that meets the criteria for the applicable regulations, and might receive approval from local government or environmental staff. At that point, the...more

Exemptions for Excess Emissions During Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Are In Jeopardy – What Can You Do?

For many years, a number of state air regulations, including certain MEDEP, NHDES, and RIDEM regulations, have contained exemptions and/or affirmative defenses for excess air emissions occurring during startup, shutdown...more

Levick Monthly - October 2014, Edition 15: Offshore Is Next Target For Environmentalists

In This Issue: - DIGITAL: COVER STORY Guest Commentary: Offshore is Next Target for Environmentalists - CRISIS How to Talk About ISIS Over Dinner - CORPORATE & REPUTATION Non-Lethal Weapons: The Ferugson...more

Four bills broaden the appeal of IFDs as a funding mechanism for local infrastructure, environmental mitigation, private...

Four bills affecting infrastructure financing districts, a funding mechanism for infrastructure and development projects that benefit the broader community, were recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. IFDs, created in 1990,...more

Update: Comment Period for OPR Rethink of CEQA Guidelines on Transportation Impacts Extended Until November 21, 2014

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has extended the comment period for its draft of changes to the way that transportation impacts are analyzed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The new...more

The Atmosphere Is a Public Trust. So What?

The last frontier of citizen climate litigation has been state-based litigation alleging that states have a public trust obligation to mitigate climate change. As I have previously noted, I’m skeptical that these cases are...more

"Governor McCrory Announces Appointments to Coal Ash Management Commission"

On Tuesday, Governor Pat McCrory's office announced the formation of the Coal Ash Management Commission, including Nexsen Pruet attorney Larry Cobb....more

Substantive Dispute over Land Application of Biosolids Remains Unresolved

Form over substance continues to obscure the substantive issue presented in the case of the City of Los Angeles (City) vs. Kern County (County). At its core, the dispute involves the land application of biosolids. Biosolids...more

A Brave New World of Water Regulation

A brave new world of water regulation - Since the state of California was born, the right to extract and use groundwater has been virtually unregulated — the law has provided few tools to limit or manage how...more

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