Environmental Policies

News & Analysis as of

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

EPA Proposes To Tighten MACT Limits For Kraft Mills

On December 14, 2016, EPA signed its proposed Kraft Pulp Residual Risk and Technology Review rule covering 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart MM (a.k.a. “MACT II”) for recovery furnaces, lime kilns and smelt dissolving tanks at kraft...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes De-Listing the Black Capped Vireo

On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to remove the black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla) from the list of Endangered and Threatened Species. The Service has concluded...more

EPA Publishes Proposed Benchmarks for Revised District of Columbia MS4 Permit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on Nov. 17, 2016, a Notice of Intent to Reissue the District of Columbia's municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit. The notice triggers a 45-day public...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Changes to Mitigation Policy

On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published the final revisions to its Mitigation Policy. The Mitigation Policy, first published in 1981, guides the Service’s recommendations and requirements...more

Clean Power Plan's Future in Jeopardy Under Trump

During his campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump vowed to scrap President Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule. The CPP is the cornerstone of President Obama's environmental legacy. The rule establishes the first national...more

EPA Identifies First Ten Chemical Substances For Evaluation Under New TSCA

As we outlined earlier this year, the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) was recently updated to provide EPA with much broader authority to regulate “existing” chemical substances (i.e., those that are already in use in...more

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

Is There Practical Evidence of Climate Change?

A recent article in The New York Times titled: Perils of Climate Change Could Swamp Coast Real Estate, indicates that rising seas and storm-related flooding in Florida appear to be driven by climate change and may be having...more

EPA Surrenders in the Regional Haze Dispute With Texas

As I noted when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s disapproval of Texas’s regional haze plan, EPA had pretty much no chance of winning. Although the parties then stayed the litigation to talk settlement, EPA...more

Projecting the Future: Court Upholds Listing for Bearded Seals - Ninth Circuit Decision Based on Projections of Climate Change...

In Alaska Oil & Gas Ass'n v. Pritzker, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently upheld a rule listing two species of seals as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) based on climate change...more

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