Environmental Policies

News & Analysis as of

Time for the Courts to go Green

The Supreme People’s Court has set up an environmental tribunal and clarified in its new Opinions which parties are able to pursue cases, the courts of first instance and the rules on litigation fees and funds. In...more

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Releases "Evaluation of Risk-Based Decision Making" With Public...

On August 29, 2014, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released “Evaluation of Risk-based Decision Making,” a report prepared by CDM Smith under contract to the state. DEEP has now...more

Texas Environmental Update

Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania Environmental Health Perspectives, September 10, 2014 - "We conducted a hypothesis...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2014

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Defense - Department of Energy - Department of Transportation - Environmental Protection...more

EPA Proposes to Eliminate Affirmative Defenses for Excess Emissions During Startups, Shutdowns, or Malfunctions — Get Ready for...

This past April, the D.C. Circuit struck down the part of EPA’s cement kiln rule that would have provided an affirmative defense to civil penalties for excess emissions resulting from unavoidable malfunctions. As we noted at...more

Trial Judge Concludes The Deepwater Horizon Spill Caused By BP’s Gross Negligence And Willful Misconduct

On September 4, 2014 the federal district judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill issued long-awaited rulings as to liability. The court concluded that BP is subject to...more

The Long Haul To Sustainability

Those markets include China, where Airbus has an A320 final assembly line at Tianjin, countries across South-East Asia, Japan and Australia. For Airbus, forming close collaboration with players in the Asia Pacific region is...more

Is It Historical Under CEQA? Court Confirms Substantial Evidence Remains the Standard

Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno, et al., No. F066498,(Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., August 28, 2014) - In a two-part opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment...more

New Bioinsecticide Approved In California

Venerate Bioinsecticide, a new broad-spectrum insecticide produced by Marrone Bio Innovations, has been approved for use in California in both conventional and organic systems. The bioinsecticide is non-toxic to beneficial...more

Responsible Mercury Management Post-MEBA

Several domestic industries have historically produced elemental mercury as either a main product or a byproduct of their operations. This mercury has typically been sold to third parties that have utilized it in the...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - September 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: Federal agency to resume leasing for hydraulic fracturing in California: ABC News - Aug 28: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will resume issuing oil and gas leases next year for...more

Economic Development Is Not an Unqualified Environmental Evil (In Case You Didn’t Know)

I do not want to suggest that most environmentalists are Luddites or that the environmental movement is opposed to economic development. Indeed, hardly a speech is made today that does not tout the economic benefits of...more

No Need To Wait For NJDEP’s Approval When Seeking Contribution For Site Cleanups

Parties that find themselves responsible for the remediation of contaminated property in New Jersey do not have to wait for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) to approve a final cleanup plan...more

Hazardous Chemical Users: Time to Consider Compliance with the GHS

In most Australian states, businesses involved with hazardous chemicals must comply with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) from 31 December 2016. 'Businesses' include...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014 #4

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of State - Environmental Protection...more

EPA Promulgates Final SNURs, Including Several for Nanomaterials

On September 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated final significant new use rules (SNUR) under Section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 36 chemical substances that were the...more

Legislature Passes Historic Legislation Fundamentally Changing California Groundwater Law

California’s depleted groundwater basins will not go unmanaged any longer. That’s the directive of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“Act”), passed late Friday, August 29 by the California Legislature, which...more

Comments to Forest Service Groundwater Management Directive Due September 3, 2014

Comments to the Groundwater Resource Management Directive proposed by the United States Forest Service to modify Chapter 2560 of the Forest Service Manual are due September 3, 2014. The proposed directive was published in the...more

EPA Reinforces Standards to Use "Representative Data" After Sierra Club

On January 22, 2013, in Sierra Club v. EPA, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion that addressed some Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program issues. Following this...more

EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

On July 9, 2014, the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Division in Region 9 issued a memo to staff setting an “operational framework” to address “inhalation exposures [to trichloroethylene] in...more

Parkmerced Project Upheld Against CEQA and General Plan Inconsistency Challenges In San Francisco Tomorrow v. City and County of...

In a lengthy, mostly-unpublished opinion filed on August 14, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the superior court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging the Parkmerced Development Project. San...more

Governor’s Passion For Legislative CEQA Reform Has Waned, Contra Costa Times Reports After Mercury News Interview

On August 15, 2014, the Contra Costa Times reported on a wide-ranging interview of California Governor Jerry Brown conducted by the Mercury News opinion and editorial board on that same date. While largely devoted to other...more

City of San Diego's Settlement Over Alleged MS4 Permit Violations Results in Crackdown on Out-Of-Compliance Projects

On August 13, 2014, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a two-part settlement with the City of San Diego for violations of the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System ("MS4") permits. Most of the...more

DOT Issues Proposed Rule to Harmonize HMR with International Standards

On August 25, 2014, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a proposed rule seeking to harmonize the hazardous materials regulations (HMR) with...more

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