News & Analysis as of

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

EPA Asks STB to Resolve Preemption Question

The Administrator of Region IX of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order to address whether locomotive idling rules issued by the South Coast...more

Ohio Imposes New Fugitive Emissions Rules on Horizontal Drillers

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has announced new requirements for horizontal drillers aimed at reducing air pollution from so-called “fugitive emissions,” which are generally caused by leaking valves or...more

EPA’s Residual Permitting Authority

Continuing on the stormwater theme I began in my last post, the next topic I intend to cover is EPA’s so-called “residual” authority under the Clean Water Act. The statute specifically requires stormwater permits for...more

EPA Issues Guidance On American Iron And Steel Requirement For $2.4 Billion In FY 2014 Clean Water And Drinking Water State...

On January 17, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (the "2014 Appropriations Act"), which requires the use of specific American iron and steel ("AIS") products in (1) all...more

Clean Water Act Update: EPA and Army Corps Propose Significant Changes to the Definition of "Waters of the United States"

On March 25, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers announced the release of their proposed rule clarifying which waters will be governed by the federal water pollution laws. The...more

Regulating Stormwater – The Never Ending Saga

As you could probably tell from the number of posts I’ve written on the subject, stormwater fascinates me. Not that I particularly like rain or snow (particularly after this winter!). But, as an environmental concern and...more

The EPA And The Corps Of Engineers Release Proposed Rule On The Scope Of Waters Covered Under The Clean Water Act

On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to define those waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United...more

Definitely a Victory For Regulations Over Guidance: EPA Issues Proposed Rule Defining Waters of The United States

The Supreme Court issued its decision in Rapanos almost 8 years ago and EPA has been struggling ever since to figure out what “waters of the United States” are within the meaning of the Clean Water Act. After several failed...more

Texas Environmental Update

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal agencies release proposed rule on Clean Water Act jurisdiction: Los Angeles Times - Mar 25 -- On Tuesday, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army...more

EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Propose to Expand Federal Jurisdiction over Waters and Wetlands

Expansive New Definition of “Waters of the United States” - On March 25, 2014, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which share jurisdiction under the Clean...more

EPA Endorses Upgraded All Appropriate Inquiry Standard

Buyers of real estate and their lenders are familiar with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Originally developed in the 1980s in response to the CERCLA statute, the Phase I protocol has been refined over the years. ...more

EPA Issues Guidance On American Iron And Steel Requirement For $2.4 Billion In FY 2014 Clean Water And Drinking Water State...

First round of agency guidance provides key interpretations and details on draft waivers - On January 17, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (the “2014 Appropriations...more

The EPA's Golden Rule: No Good Neighbor Goes Unpunished

Have you ever wondered what all those additional charges are on your electric bill? This month my bill lists a “Customer Charge,” a “2013 Fuel Adjustment” and a “State-Wide Low-Income Assistance Fee,” which add up to about...more

What’s New Out There? Highlights from the March 2014 Federal Register

A. EPA Adopts Final Rule: EPA-Specific Past Performance Regulations (79 Fed. Reg. 15921-24) (3/21/2014) - The EPA is deleting EPA-specific past performance regulations in the EPA Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) because...more

Coal Companies, Don’t Look Behind; EPA May Be Gaining on You

As the lawyers among our readers know, the denial of a certiorari petition does not establish precedent. However, that doesn’t make it unimportant. Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied cert. in Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. EPA. ...more

2 and 1/2 Strikes and the NGOs May Be Out: EPA Refuses to Exercise Residual Designation Authority

Stormwater regulation is a thorny issue. There is widespread agreement that nutrient run-off can be a significant problem, but little agreement on what to do about it, since stormwater infrastructure is normally managed by...more

EPA Approves the New Phase I Standard

Many in the construction industry are familiar with Phase I testing as the first step in identifying environmental risk to any site. Since 2005, the industry standard for a Phase I has been the ASTM E 1527-05. Recently,...more

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Authority to Amend the Renewable Fuel Standard

In this article: - Introduction - EPA’s Underlying Authority to Interpret the CAA - RFS Volume Mandate Reduction Authority under the CAA - Analysis of EPA’s Authority to Amend the RFS Regulatory...more

Texas Environmental Update

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

EPA Boiler Regulations Survive Challenge … For Now

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its ruling in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA yesterday. The court’s opinion upheld the EPA’s rules revising new source performance standards for steam generating...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - March 11, 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - California lawmakers pass $687 billion drought plan -- San Francisco CBS Local - Feb 27: California lawmakers have passed a $687 million plan to provide immediate relief to...more

February Closes with Significant Activity Relating to EPA's Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

Last week saw two developments regarding EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases. On February 24, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. the Environmental Protection...more

A "Diesel Fuel" by Any Other Name – EPA Narrows Definition of "Diesel Fuel" in Revised Hydraulic Fracturing Guidance

On February 12, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued long-awaited final guidance on permitting the use of diesel fuels in hydraulic fracturing operations. This guidance is important because any...more

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